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2701 - CalPERS Contribution Rates and Benefit Formulas (Historical View)

** Effective: 11/18/2016 3:54:19 PM - 11/21/2016 10:07:05 AM **

Status: Active

Change Notes

Policy Created.



Audience List


This policy:


Generally, state employees working half-time or more are eligible for lifetime retirement benefits administered by the California Public Employee’s Retirement System (CalPERS).  The retirement benefits vary and are based on the employees first hire date with the state and CalPERS membership date, as specified in bargaining unit contracts, CalPERS laws, and Public Employee’s Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA).

The three main sources used to fund CalPERS retirement benefits are from employee retirements contributions, employer contributions, and investment returns.  CalPERS is responsible for determining the required retirement contribution rates to ensure retirement benefits are adequately funded.  CalPERS, CalHR, and the State Controller’s Office (SCO) provide regular communication to state departments when there are changes to the retirement benefits and contributions.  Historically, retirement changes have occurred through the legislative process, or under bargaining agreements between the state and labor organizations.

Departments are legislatively required to enroll eligible employees into CalPERS.  This policy provides an overview of retirement information and resources to guide departments.


CalPERS Retirement Plans

A state employee who qualifies for CalPERS membership may be subject to one of five retirement plans based on his or her employment class or position.

Departments should review bargaining unit contracts to identify the appropriate retirement membership or contact CalHR for additional information.  Also, refer to SCO “Pay Letters” to obtain enrollment processing procedures at

Employee Retirement Contribution Rates

State employees eligible for CalPERS membership are required to pay retirement contributions based on the employee’s retirement plan, bargaining unit, and PEPRA provisions.  Historically, SCO will process mass updates for changes to employee retirement contribution rates upon receiving notice from CalPERS and CalHR.  Below is a summary of the most current employee contribution rates:

Departments should refer to the bargaining unit contracts to verify employee contribution rates.  Please contact CalHR with any questions related to employee contribution rates.

Employer Retirement Contribution Rates

The employer retirement contribution rates are determined annually by CalPERS actuarial staff and presented to CalPERS Board of Administration (Board) for final approval.  Upon final approval by the Board, CalPERS staff will prepare and issue a Circular Letter to notify state employers of the contribution rates each fiscal year.

Retirement Benefit Formulas

State employee retirement benefits vary due to pension reform established in 2010, 2011, and 2013 through bargaining and legislative changes.  The retirement benefits are based on the employees first hire date with the state, CalPERS membership date, bargaining unit, and PEPRA provisions.

A summary of the retirement benefits are outlined in each of the bargaining unit contracts.  Contact CalHR with any bargaining unit contract inquiries or contact CalPERS to verify CalPERS membership and eligibility information.

SCO Personnel/Payroll:  Phone: (916) 445-5361
Fax: (916) 322-6493

CalPERS Customer Service: 888 CalPERS (or 888-225-7377)
TTY: (877) 249-7442
Fax: (800) 959-6545





Contact Person

Desi Rodrigues
Program Manager , Retirement Policy
Phone: 916-324-9400
Fax: 916-322-3769

Authorized By

Ralph Cobb
Chief (Acting), Benefits Division