New Pension Contracts
California’s public agency and school employers can contract with CalPERS to offer their public employees comprehensive retirement benefits. Our defined-benefit pension retirement plan provides a stable and predictable post-retirement income to public employees. On this page you will find general information on the types of retirement benefits offered, membership categories, benefit formulas, the general contracting process, fees, and contribution rates. Please see our Agency Eligibility page for information on whether your agency is qualified to contract with CalPERS. For additional information please contact us.
Our Contact Information
Pension Contracts Management Program
Call us: (916) 795-1024
Email us: PensionContracts@calpers.ca.gov.
Our mailing address:
Pension Contracts & Prefunding Programs Division
P.O. Box 942703
Sacramento, CA 94229-2703
Types of Retirement Benefits
There are three types of retirement benefits offered: Service, Disability, and Industrial Disability.
- Service Retirement is where an employee becomes eligible for retirement upon reaching a specific age and minimum years of service. The age and service years minimums vary across different types of plans. Benefit payments are based on a formula of member’s age, years of service, and final compensation at retirement.
- Disability Retirement is the mental or physical incapacity for the performance of usual job duties, available to all employees with at least five years of service credit. There is no minimum age requirement for disability retirement.
- Industrial Disability Retirement is the mental or physical incapacity for the performance of usual job duties as a result of work-incurred or job-related injury or disease. Industrial disability is available to all safety members and those Miscellaneous members covered under Government Code section 21151. Age, years of service, and contributions are not considered for qualifying purposes.
CalPERS also provides death benefits for active and retired members paid to eligible beneficiaries or survivors.
Membership Categories & Benefit Formulas
All members fall into one of two categories, Safety or Miscellaneous, and each category has its own distinct benefit formulas. Under most benefit plans, members become vested after 5 years. Notably, the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act (PEPRA) changed benefit formulas for those hired on or after January 1, 2013. Visit our PEPRA page for more information.
Retirement coverage of school members is uniform throughout the state except for those county superintendents who have contracted for additional benefit options.
Members 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.
PEPRA Safety Benefit Formulas (GC 7522.25)
- 2% at 57
- 2.5% at 57
- 2.7% at 57
All non-safety members are in the miscellaneous category.
PEPRA Misc. Benefit Formulas (GC 7522.20)
- 2% at 62
General Information on the Contracting Process
- Complete the appropriate Applicant Questionnaire:
- 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 myCalPERS.
- Depending upon the complexity of contract, the process takes a minimum of 9 to 12 months to complete.
If you choose to contract for CalPERS retirement coverage, you must request an actuarial valuation online via myCalPERS. The fees for an actuarial valuation are:
- $900 for each new agency actuarial valuation, per scenario
- $3,000 one-time administrative fee for new contracts involving a local system transfer
- $300 for each amendment valuation
An actuarial valuation report is completed based on the benefits an agency selects. The actuarial valuation report sets the required contribution rates for both the employer and employees. Contribution rates are calculated as a percentage of payroll for the normal cost portion. For more information on normal cost rates for new agencies download the Miscellaneous and Safety Plan summary sheets. Should the contract include any prior service, an unfunded accrued liability (UAL) portion will also be billed as a dollar amount for contributions toward your UAL. Upon contract, an annual valuation will be completed. The first annual valuation will be completed approximately two years after your contract effective date. Employer rates are reassessed each year. Visit our Required Employer Contributions page for more information.
Employee contribution rates are set by law and vary depending on the retirement formula for employees hired prior to January 1, 2013. Employees hired on or after January 1, 2013, are subject to PEPRA and required to pay 50% of the normal cost for contributions, as determined by the CalPERS Actuarial Office.
Normal costs are billed as payroll is reported and the default for UAL costs is monthly payments. An alternative to monthly UAL payments is to make an annual UAL lumpsum prepayment in July. If no July prepayment is received, then the agency’s UAL is billed monthly. Agencies may make extra payments, known as Additional Discretionary Payments (ADPs), and should contact their assigned actuary for assistance.
Any agencies contracting with less than 100 active members are mandated to contract into one of our risk pools as a pooled plan. Visit our Risk Pooling page for more information.
For additional information on your pension plan’s contribution rates please contact the Actuarial Office at 1-888-CALPERS.
The CalPERS Pension Contracts Management Program and Actuarial Office are available to discuss and inform all CalPERS contracted agencies on their pension contracting and funding options. Additionally, links to relevant and important resources for all our contracting agencies are found in in this section, and in Resources.
- Managing the Unfunded Accrued Liability
- Pension Reform Impacts
- Retirement Benefits
- Retirement Contract Administration Quick Reference Guide (PDF)
- Search for your Actuarial Valuation
- Social Security and Medicare