Leaving CalPERS Membership
If you leave CalPERS-covered employment, you may either:
- Elect to refund or rollover your contributions.
- Leave your contributions and interest in your account and receive a retirement benefit as soon as you meet the minimum retirement eligibility requirements.
View important information about leaving employment on Refunds & Reciprocity.
If you're moving from one CalPERS-covered employer to another, you may not withdraw your retirement contributions. You must permanently terminate your CalPERS membership to receive a return of retirement contributions.
If you're moving to a position covered under a reciprocal retirement system, you may not be able to withdraw your retirement contributions. This includes agencies such as:
- California State Teachers' Retirement System
- Counties with retirement systems under the County Employees’ Retirement Law of 1937
- Judges' Retirement System
- Judges' Retirement System II
- Legislators' Retirement System
- University of California Retirement Plan
For more information about your rights and responsibilities, read When You Change Retirement Systems (PUB 16) (PDF). Watch our CalPERS Members: Early Career Basics video to learn more about leaving your employer. You can find additional resources by visiting Member Education.
Health Benefits Coverage
If you leave CalPERS employment for reasons other than retirement, you're covered until the first day of the second month following the last date you were employed. This is subject to you having enough earnings to cover your share of the health premium. If not, you may be eligible to continue health coverage under COBRA. If you elect to cancel your coverage before you leave your job, you will not be eligible for COBRA. Contact your health benefits officer for more information.
If you leave CalPERS-covered employment, you may leave your contributions and interest in your account and receive a retirement benefit as soon as you meet the minimum retirement eligibility requirements. However, to be eligible for health coverage in retirement you must:
- Be eligible for CalPERS health enrollment on your date of separation
- Receive a monthly retirement allowance
- Retire within 120 days from your date of separation
Verify the agency of last employment remains contracted with CalPERS for health benefits (Contracting agencies only)
If your monthly premiums were paid as a payroll deduction, contact CalPERS Long-Term Care at (800) 982-1775 to see what payment options are available.
Deferred Compensation Plans
If you're a deferred compensation plan participant, verify that your employer has your correct mailing address before you leave CalPERS membership. This will ensure you receive communications and statements.
When you leave CalPERS, you have several distribution options that may apply to your retirement savings goal. Taking a distribution may not be required until age 70 ½ for the required minimum distribution.
Contact your plan directly to learn more:
- CalPERS 457 Deferred Compensation Plan
- CalPERS Supplemental Contributions Plan
- Savings Plus
- State Peace Officers' & Firefighters' Supplemental Plan
- CalPERS Long-Term Care
- Deferred Compensation
- Member Education
- Refunds & Reciprocity
- Retirement Benefits
Forms & Publications
- Changing Your Beneficiary or Monthly Benefit After Retirement (PUB 98) (PDF)
- Health Program Guide (HBD 120) (PDF)
- Pre-Retirement Lump Sum Beneficiary Designation (PDF)
- Refund/Rollover Election Package (PDF)
- When You Change Retirement Systems (PUB 16) (PDF)
- Service Credit Purchase Options (PUB 12) (PDF)