2702 - State Safety Retirement (Historical View)** Effective: 1/10/2018 11:19:20 AM - 7/9/2018 10:24:26 AM **
Resource updated: updated link
- Employee Relations Officers
- Personnel Officers
- Personnel Transactions Staff
- Personnel Transactions Supervisors
- outlines the state safety retirement benefits
- outlines the criteria used by CalHR to determine eligibility for state safety benefits
- outlines the process for requesting a state safety class or position designation
- provides the effective date for state safety retirement benefits
- outlines the reporting requirements
The state safety retirement membership was designed to recognize those state employees whose condition of employment requires public protective responsibilities and have regular and substantial contact with inmates or patients charged with a felony. The state safety employees are not peace officers but do have certain public protection responsibilities. In recognition of the duties, enhanced retirement benefits are provided to employees in classes or positions that meet state safety retirement criteria.
The purpose of this policy is to outline the retirement benefits and criteria used by CalHR to determine which classifications or positions are eligible for state safety retirement benefits.
State Safety Retirement Benefits
The major benefits of the state safety retirement membership include:
- Higher benefit formula (2.5 percent at age 55, 2 percent at age 55, or 2.0 percent at age 57).
- Earlier retirement age compared to state employees subject to the miscellaneous and industrial membership.
- Enhanced death and disability benefits.
- Employees and employers are exempt from paying Social Security tax.
Criteria for Determining Eligibility for State Safety Benefits
It is the policy of CalHR to apply the criteria specified in Government Code sections 19816.20 and 20405.1 to ensure state safety designation is only approved for employees in classes or positions that meet state safety criteria.
Criteria: In order to be eligible for state safety benefits, an employee in the class or position under consideration must meet all of the following criteria:
- The employee must have ongoing responsibility for:
- The protection and safeguarding of public and property; and
- The control or supervision of incarcerated individuals, or regular and substantial contact with incarcerated individuals;
- The employee must, as a condition of employment, be required to and capable of responding to emergency situations;
- The employee must provide a level of service to the public such that the safety of the public and of property is not jeopardized;
- The employee’s job specification and signed duty statement must clearly outline requirement that the employee has ongoing responsibility for the items listed in item #1, above;
- The employee’s job duties must be such that earlier retirement age is necessary to ensure the employee is capable of performing protective duties;
- The class or position is consistent with classes that have previously been determined by CalHR to meet the criteria outlined in this policy.
Definitions: The following definitions apply to the above criteria:
- “Ongoing Responsibility” means the employee spends more than 50 percent of his or her time performing the activity.
- “Regular and Substantial” means the employee has direct, personal contact with incarcerated individuals.
- “Control or supervision” means immediate or first-line supervision and does not include activities in which the employee is a second-line supervisor or supervising or controlling other employees who are in personal contact with incarcerated individuals.
- “Incarcerated individual” means: (i) Inmates or youthful offenders in adult or youth correctional facilities; (ii) Patients in state mental facilities that house Penal Code offenders; or (iii) Clients charged with a felony who are in a locked and controlled treatment facility of a developmental center.
Exclusions: Classes or positions shall not be granted state safety benefits if the ongoing responsibilities include the following:
- Personnel Administration
- Public Affairs
- Data Processing or Information Technology
- Governmental Relations
- Legal support
- Administrative oversight of administrative staff
- Primary work location is at headquarters or field offices
- Meeting with administrative or executive staff located at facilities or state hospitals (e.g., wardens, superintendents, and other administrative staff)
Requesting a State Safety Class or Position Designation
Departments, Unions, and CalHR Labor Relations staff must submit a state safety designation request as follows:
- Review the state safety membership criteria to determine if the class or position meets the requirements.
- Complete the “Retirement Designation Request” form and attach the supporting documents, if the class or position meets state safety criteria.
- Submit the package by either:
Scanning and emailing the package to: RetirementRequests@calhr.ca.gov
CalHR, Personnel Management Division
1515 S Street, North Building, Suite 500
Sacramento, CA 95811
Approval of State Safety Designation
- If CalHR staff determines the class or position meets the state safety criteria, CalHR will send a written notice to the department, SCO, and CalPERS approving state safety designation.
- CalPERS then designates the class and moves the employees into the state safety retirement category.
- SCO will establish the class as state safety retirement in the transaction audit tables and sends a confirmation to the department’s personnel office and CalHR.
- Department will key in the class transactions without generating errors from SCO and CalPERS databases.
- All future employees hired into the state safety class will then be automatically placed in state safety retirement.
If the class or position doesn’t meet state safety criteria, CalHR will send a written denial notice to the department or requesting organization.
Note: Departments are not authorized to provide state safety designation for a class or position without CalHR approval.
Effective Date for State Safety Retirement Benefits
CalHR has no authority to approve requests on a retroactive basis. The Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 prohibits all public employers from providing retroactive enhancements to a public employee’s retirement formula or benefits adopted on or after January 1, 2013, and cannot apply to any service performed prior to the effective date. Please refer to Government Code section 7522.44.
Ongoing Reporting Responsibilities
CalHR and departmental staff must ensure the following ongoing reporting is conducted to ensure state employee retirement benefits are accurately reported to CalPERS.
- CalHR must submit the annual report to the Legislature containing all classifications and positions approved by CalHR for state safety membership.
- CalHR must maintain a report of all state safety retirement requests, approvals, denials, and other historical documents.
- CalHR must conduct periodic review of the state safety plan to identify any enrollment issues and trends.
- CalHR must identify retirement legislation that impacts retirement eligibility and benefits.
- Departments must notify CalHR of any changes made to classes or positions to ensure the state safety designation is in compliance with specified laws.
SCO Personnel/Payroll: Phone: (916) 445-5361
Fax: (916) 322-6493
CalPERS: 888 CalPERS (or 888-225-7377)
TTY: (877) 249-7442
Fax: (800) 959-6545
Departments should notify employees of changes to the state safety retirement eligibility or benefits upon receiving notice from CalHR.
- Bargaining / Contracts
- Government Code sections 19816.20 and 19816.21
- Government Code sections 20399 to 20416
- Government Code sections 7522 to 7522.74
- CalHR 619: Retirement Designation Request Form
- PML 2004-029: PML 2004-029 - 7/15/2004 - Retirement Category Changes - Bargaining Unit 7
- PML 2016-006: PML 2016-006 - 3/1/2016 - New State Safety and Peace Officer/Firefighter Retirement Designation Request
- 2701: CalPERS Contribution Rates and Benefit Formulas
- 2703: Peace Officer/Firefighter Retirement (POFF)
- 2704: CalPERS 1959 Survivor Benefit Program
- State Safety Retirement: State Safety Retirement Information
Program Manager, Benefits Division
Program Manager, , Retirement Policy