CalPERS can offer your agency and employees comprehensive retirement and health benefits and additional programs and services. Learn about CalPERS Long-Term Care and California Employers' Retiree Benefit Trust Fund.
- Complete the appropriate Applicant Questionnaire.
Public Agencies - Complete the Public Agency Applicant Questionnaire (PDF). We will use it to determine your agency's eligibility to participate in CalPERS' benefits programs (see Circular Letter 200-022-13 [PDF]). Eligible public agencies are defined by the California Public Employees' Retirement Law (PERL) and include city, county, or town. Refer to PERL Code Sections 20056 and 20057 for a complete description.
Public Schools - Complete the School Applicant Questionnaire (PDF) designed specifically for public schools. The application will assist CalPERS in the first of two phases of the application process (see Circular Letter 200-024-15 [PDF]). For more information please refer to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published Notice 2015-07.
- If your agency meets eligibility requirements, we'll send you a new agency contract package.
- After you've reviewed the package, contact us to if you want to continue the contract process. You'll then be given access to my|CalPERS.
Depending upon the complexity of contract, the process takes a minimum of 9 to 12 months to complete.
There are three types of retirement offered: service, disability, and industrial disability. CalPERS also provides death benefits for active and retired members paid to eligible beneficiaries or survivors.
CalPERS offers a defined benefit plan. Retirement benefits are based on the member's age, service, and final compensation at retirement. Membership type falls under one of two categories:
- Safety members are those whose primary duties are in active law enforcement, fire prevention, or are designated as safety members by law. A safety membership determination is required prior to requesting a new agency actuarial valuation.
- All other members are in the miscellaneous category.
There are multiple benefit formulas available in each category, offered as contract options. Under most benefit formulas, members become fully vested with five years of service credit and the minimum retirement age is 50.
Retirement coverage of school members is uniform throughout the state except for those county superintendents who have contracted for additional benefit options.
As of June 2012, more than 3,000 local public agencies and county schools are covered by CalPERS retirement. The breakdown by agency type is as follows:
Special Districts & Other Public Agencies
County Superintendents of Schools (representing 1,458 school districts)
If you choose to contract for CalPERS retirement coverage, you must request an actuarial valuation online via my|CalPERS. The fees for an actuarial valuation are:
- $900 for each new agency actuarial valuation, per scenario
- $2,100 one-time administrative fee for new contracts involving a local system transfer
- $300 for each amendment valuation
For more information on actuarial valuation fees, see Circular Letter 200-073-10 (PDF).
An actuarial valuation (cost analysis) is completed based on the benefits you've selected. The actuarial valuation will show the employer contribution rate expressed as a percentage of payroll. This represents your contribution to each employee's future retirement benefit. An annual valuation will be completed approximately two years after your contract effective date. Employer rates are reassessed each year. View Employer Contributions.
Employee contribution rates are set by law and vary depending on the retirement formula chosen for employees hired prior to January 1, 2013. Employees hired on or after January 1, 2013, are required to pay 50 percent of the normal cost for contributions, as determined by the CalPERS Actuarial Office.
If your agency is interested in participating in the CalPERS Health Benefits Program, email the CalPERS Health Marketing Unit or call (916) 795-1233.
Our representatives will provide you with the necessary information and guide you through the onboarding process. To join our program, agencies must adopt a resolution (provided by CalPERS) to be subject to the provisions of the Public Employees' Medical and Hospital Care Act (PEMHCA). For the smoothest transition, we recommend resolutions are filed with CalPERS at least four months before you want coverage to begin.
Already have a CalPERS Health Contract?
If your agency would like to make changes to its monthly employer health contribution, add or remove an optional provision such as vesting, or terminate its health contract, email the CalPERS Health Contracts Unit.
For information on eligibility and enrollment, plans and rates, and Medicare, visit Health Benefits for active members. Contact us at 888 CalPERS (or 888-225-7377) for any additional employer questions.
The CalPERS Supplemental Income 457 Plan is for employees of participating public agencies and schools. With this supplemental retirement income plan, employees can automatically save a portion of their salary and invest it in their choice of a variety of investment options. Electing our Self-Managed Account option gives your employees an even greater investment selection.
Participants' current taxable income is reduced by the amount they save on a before-tax basis, lowering their tax bill. Their earnings are automatically reinvested before taxes, which makes their savings grow faster. Join the list of CalPERS 457 Plan Participating Agencies.
- Bridging the Gap: Enrolling in CalPERS Supplemental Income 457 Plan (video)
- CalPERS 457 Plan Introduction (video)
- CalPERS Supplemental Income 457 Plan (Key Investment Information) (video)
- Making Cents (PDF, newsletter)
For more information, visit our 457 Plan Employer Resource Center or call us toll free at (800) 696-3907 to speak with a representative. If you need help with an existing account, call the participant line at (800) 260-0659.
For an overview of our entire selection of member deferred compensation plans, refer to Active Members Deferred Compensation.
- California Employers' Retiree Benefit Trust Fund (CERBT)
- CalPERS 457 Plan
- Circular Letters
- Employer Contributions
Forms & Publications
- Optional Benefits Listing (PERS-CON-40) (PDF)
- Public Agency Applicant Questionnaire (PDF)
- Public Agency & Schools Reference Guide (PDF, 1.56 MB)
- School Applicant Questionnaire (PDF)
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who can request an actuarial valuation?
Authorized representatives from a public agency or employee organization can request actuarial valuations.