The California Employers' Benefit Trust (CERBT) Fund is a Section 115 trust fund dedicated to prefunding Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) for all eligible California public agencies. Even those not contracted with CalPERS health benefits can prefund future retiree benefits such as health, vision, dental, and life insurance.

By joining this trust fund, California public agencies can help finance future costs in large part from investment earnings provided by CalPERS. Since its launch in 2007, more than 500 California public employers choose CERBT as their OPEB trust fund. View CERBT Participating Agencies.

Register for a CERBT Fund Workshop to learn more.

Current Participating Employers

Log in to the CERBT Online Record-Keeping System to view your daily balance, transaction history, or download quarterly and annual CERBT statements.

Consulting Actuaries

Learn about the CalPERS OPEB Assumption Model.

Prefunding allows you to enjoy the following benefits:

  • Contribute to preserving a positive credit rating
  • Generate investment income from employer controlled contributions to pay for future retiree benefits
  • Reduce future employer cash flow requirements and budget dependency with investment income
  • Reduce OPEB liabilities reported on employer annual financial statements

As one of the nation's largest public employer OPEB trust funds, we strive to sustain retiree health benefits. We do so by delivering an uncomplicated, low-cost investment and administration program, high-quality service, compliance reporting, and education about the value of prefunding retiree healthcare benefits.

Benefits include:

  • All services provided at a single, low cost
  • Assistance with GASB compliance and financial reporting
  • Investment management by experts at CalPERS and internationally renowned consultants
  • No revenue sharing agreements, surrender/withdrawal/deferred sales charges, investment performance charges, or minimum fee requirement
  • Simple and straightforward administrative procedures

How it Works

The low cost of the CERBT program yields higher long-term net investment returns. CERBT offers three diversified asset allocation strategies. These strategies invest in five common asset classes:

  • Commodities
  • Fixed Income
  • Global Equity
  • Global Public Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
  • Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS)

For more information on the specific allocations of each asset class, see the Investment Policy for the CERBT Fund (PDF).

Each strategy offers a distinctly different long-term expected return and return volatility. These strategies rely on the same underlying set of asset classes. Strategy 1 has the highest long-term expected rate of return/return volatility. Strategy 3 has the lowest long-term expected rate of return/return volatility. You can choose the strategy that best matches the characteristics of your plan and risk preference.

Return/Return Volatility Strategy 1 Strategy 2 Strategy 3

Expected Return Rate

7.28%

6.73%

6.12%

Standard Deviation of Expected Return

11.74%

9.32%

7.14%

The following CERBT Fund fact sheets for each asset allocation strategy are updated every month:

Fees

CERBT charges employers a single fee rate to cover all program costs. At the beginning of each fiscal year, the program budget is determined. At the same time, we project an expected average annual asset balance for the trust fund. By dividing the program budget by the average annual asset balance, we derive an average annual basis point charge rate.

This basis point charge rate is applied daily to the asset balance of each employer. Each day the investment return (positive or negative), and disbursements or contributions, are added to the employer's ending asset balance of the previous day. Then a daily basis point charge rate is applied to the employer account. The employer account ending balance of the day equals the sum of previous day ending balance plus investment return, disbursements and contributions, minus the daily basis point charge.

The fee rate is a function of both the fund operating costs and of the average asset balance of the fund. The fee rate is likely to vary over time, and may be higher or lower in the future. CERBT is a state trust fund program and retains no profit from the program. Email us to learn the current fee rate.

The annual fee rate covers the following activities:

  • Compliance
  • Investment management
  • Legal services
  • Ongoing administration
  • Record-keeping
  • Reporting
  • Start-up, transfer of assets, termination
  • Trustee/custodial services

Complete and send the following items to the CalPERS CERBT Program:

*This Agreement and Election document must be presented to your employer's governing body and completed and adopted in a public meeting. This is the only document that must be received as a physical copy. You can email all other documents.

If mailing via U.S. Postal Service, send to:

CalPERS
Prefunding Programs
CERBT (OPEB)
P.O. Box 1494
Sacramento, CA 95812-1494

If mailing via FedEx, send to:

CalPERS
Prefunding Programs
CERBT (OPEB)
400 Q Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

CalPERS will process the agreement and mail you an acknowledgment letter. The letter will state the agreement has been approved and will provide an executed original copy of the agreement that includes the approval date.

For assistance with the contracting process and submission requirements, or to request forms and instructions by mail, please email us.

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) is a not-for-profit organization that formulates accounting standards for State and local governments. GASB standards are not law but are accounting principles to which government agencies subscribe voluntarily that improve the clarity of financial reporting.

GASB issued three statements that outline the financial reporting requirements for OPEB benefits, GASB 43, GASB 45, and GASB 57. CERBT employs staff who specializes in financial reporting requirements for OPEB under GASB.

Financial Reporting for OPEB under GASB

CERBT is a GASB-compliant trust fund that reports its financial statements under GASB 43 (PDF). Employers participating in the trust will only have to provide periodic financial information to CERBT to fulfill their requirements for trust fund financial reporting under GASB 43.

Review the following for more information:

To help participating employers meet their financial reporting requirements for GASB 45, the CERBT provides fiscal year-end summary information and has staff on hand to answer any specific questions employers, or their financial auditors, may have regarding their CERBT assets and OPEB liabilities.

We expect GASB Statements 43 and 45 to be revised to reflect the new approach already adopted in the most recent GASB Statements for pension reporting, GASB 67 and 68. GASB has released its Exposure Draft (PDF) for the new OPEB reporting standards. These new standards are currently being deliberated. We expect final revised standards to be issued in June 2015.

Request an OPEB Data Extract

To assist you in obtaining an actuarial valuation of OPEB to satisfy GASB 45 requirements, CalPERS will provide, upon request, an extract of the participant information we maintain for employers participating in the Public Employees Medical and Hospital Care Act (PEMHCA). Since GASB 45 is an accounting requirement and will affect your financial statements, we urge you to contact your auditor to discuss whether you need an extract before submitting your request.

To initiate a data extract request please email us.



Benefit Programs

Resources

Forms & Publications

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I make a contribution to my CERBT account?

    There are two ways to send contributions to your CERBT account:

    1. Send a check with a completed CERBT Contribution by Check form (PDF). Checks sent without the form may be delayed and/or returned. Prior to mailing, email the Financial Reporting & Accounting Services Division a copy of your completed form.
    2. Make an electronic funds transfer (EFT). Email us for the Contribution by Wire transfer form to initiate the transfer.

    Contributions will be accepted as early as one day after the date your agency’s contract agreement is approved by CalPERS.

  • How do I request a disbursement from my CERBT account?

    To receive a disbursement from your CERBT account you must complete a Disbursement Request form. See instructions on page 3 of the form. Once completed and signed, email us this form to ensure timely processing of your disbursement. The original, signed disbursement request form needs to be mailed to us before we can remit funds to your agency. Disbursements are processed once a month, in the month following receipt of the completed disbursement request form.  

    The Disbursement request form must be signed by staff that have been identified in the Delegation of Authority to Request Disbursements. If you don't know who the appropriate staff members to sign the Disbursement Request form, email us.

  • How much does it cost to participate in CERBT?
    Employers pay the actual cost of trust operation. CalPERS is a state agency and does not retain profit from trust operation. CERBT staff establish a fee rate (basis point) which is charged daily to the account of the participating employers to cover the costs of the CERBT annual program budget approved by the CalPERS Board of Administration. The fee rate is likely to vary over time, and may be higher or lower in the future. Email us to learn the current fee rate.
  • How often are actuarial valuations or AMM cost reports required?

    Since CERBT has more than 200 participants, GASB requires participating agencies to have OPEB valuations and AMM cost reports performed every two years.

  • Is CERBT an IRS-approved trust?
    Yes, the CERBT has received a favorable ruling from the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Is there a minimum contribution requirement for CERBT?
    No, contributions to the CERBT are always voluntary and are never required.
  • What is the earliest date contributions may be made?

    Contributions will be accepted as early as one day after the date the agreement is approved by CalPERS.