Retirement Plans

Generally, employees at Cal Poly are required to be enrolled in one of two retirement plans, CalPERS or SavingsPlus PST. Upon hire, Human Resources will enroll you in the appropriate retirement plan.

CalPERS Membership

The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) is an agency in the California executive branch that manages pension and health benefits for more than 1.6 million California public employees, retirees, and their families.

Membership with CalPERS is based on full-time employment for more than six months or half-time employment for more than one year. Lecturers become members at the beginning of their fourth consecutive quarter at half-time or more, (7.5 units).

Membership is mandatory for qualifying employees. Employees excluded from CalPERS membership are covered by the Part-Time, Seasonal and Temporary Retirement Plan ("PST") administered through SavingsPlus.

CalPERS members pay into Social Security. Those enrolled in SavingsPlus PST do not pay into Social Security.

CalPERS Retirement Pension

You can track your retirement funds and get pension estimates by Creating a MyCalPERS Account.

CalPERS is a defined benefit retirement plan. It provides benefits based on members' years of service, age, and highest consecutive 12 months or consecutive 36 months compensation. In addition, benefits are provided for disability, death, and to survivors or beneficiaries of eligible members. Note: Some members are subject to Compensation Limits**

Cal Poly employees who are CalPERS members become fully vested for a retirement pension after five years of credited CalPERS service. Vesting means you are entitled to a pension once you reach retirement age (varies). Timelines and information about retiring from CalPERS can be found by downloading Cal Poly's Retirement Process.

The vesting period is calculated by CalPERS and includes credit earned at any CalPERS public agency including the State of California (including CSU) and public contracting agencies.

CalPERS Retirement Formulas

State Misc Tier 1: All except State Public Safety

State Misc Tier 1 (Except State Public Safety)
PEPRA Membership Classic Membership Classic Membership
Employment and Membership Hired by State And new CalPERS member on or after January 1, 2013 Hired by State And new CalPERS member between January 15, 2011 and December 31, 2012 Hired by State And new CalPERS member prior to January 15, 2011
Employee Contribution* 7.25% of gross pay 5% of gross pay
with $513 exclusion
5% of gross pay
with $513 exclusion
CSU Contribution 29.396% of gross pay 29.396% of gross pay 29.396% of gross pay
Retirement Formula 2% at 62 (2N) 2% at 60 (2Z) 2% at 55 (08)
Mimimum Retirement Age 52 years 50 years 50 years
Highest Benefit Factor 2.5% at 67+ 2.418% at 63+ 2.5% at 63+
Pension
Vesting
5 years 5 years 5 years
Salary Used to
Calculate Pension (Subject to Cap)
Average highest 36 consecutive months Average highest 36 consecutive months Average highest 12 consecutive months
Compensation Limits** 2018 - $121,388 2018 - $275,000 2018 - $275,000

State Public Safety Officers & Management

State Public Safety
PEPRA Membership Classic Membership Classic Membership
OFFICERS Employment and Membership Hired by State And new CalPERS member on or after January 1, 2013 Hired by State And new CalPERS member on or after July 1, 2011 Hired by State And new CalPERS member prior to July 1, 2011
MANAGEMENT Employment and Membership Hired by State And new CalPERS member on or after January 1, 2013 Hired by State And new CalPERS member on or after January 15, 2011 Hired by State And new CalPERS member prior to January 15, 2011
Employee Contribution* 11% of gross pay
8% of gross pay
with $238 exclusion
8% of gross pay
with $238 exclusion
CSU Contribution 45.371% of gross pay 45.371 of gross pay 45.371% of gross pay
Retirement Formula 2.5% at 57 2.5% at 55 3.0% at 50
Mimimum Retirement Age 50 years 50 years 50 years
Highest Benefit Factor 2.5% at 57+ 2.5% at 55+ 3.0% at 50+
Pension
Vesting
5 years 5 years 5 years*
Salary Used to
Calculate Pension (Subject to Cap)
Average highest 36 consecutive months Average highest 36 consecutive months Average highest 12 consecutive months
Compensation Limits** 2018 - $145,666 2018 - $275,000 2018 - $275,000

*As required by PEPRA (Public Employees Pension Reform Act), reflects a portion of the current "normal" cost rate. Normal cost rates are determined annually and subject to change.

**Compensation limits for both classic and new members do not limit the salary an employer can pay, but rather limits the amount of compensation taken into account under the defined benefit plan. These limits will affect your monthly pension retirement calculation.

The Public Employees' Pension Reform Act of 2013 ("PEPRA") provides that the new pension formula be offered to new members. The CSU's understanding is that an employee who previously worked for a CalPERS-covered employer would be considered a "new member" if the employee changes public employers and the separation between employers is greater than six months, unless the change of employment is between state entities or schools.

CalPERS Retirement: Vesting Requirement for Health/Dental Benefits

In order to qualify for health/dental in retirement, you must retire from a benefit eligible position within 120 days of separatation from the CSU.

  • Retirees pay the same health contribution as active CSU employees.
  • Dental Retiree plan premium is paid by CalPERS.
  • The vision benefit can be continued at the retiree's expense.

In addition, benefits are provided for disability, death, and to survivors or beneficiaries of eligible members. Exception to Ten Year Vesting Requirement: Disabled employees would received the full state health contribution if they separate and retire with a disability retirement within 120 days from a benefits eligible appointment.

CalPERS Health/Dental Vesting Requirements
Employee Group / Bargaining Unit First hired by CSU And new CalPERS member on or after July 1, 2018 First hired by CSU And new CalPERS member on or after July 1, 2017 Hired by CSU And new CalPERS member prior to July 1, 2017
R03 No Change 10 years 5 years
M98, M80, C99, E99 10 years 5 years 5 years
R01, R02, R04, R05, R06, R07, R09 10 years 5 years 5 years
R08 No Change No Change 5 years

What is Reciprocity?

As a member of CalPERS you may be eligible for the benefits of reciprocity. Reciprocity is an agreement among public retirement systems to allow members to move from one public employer to another public employer within a specific time limit without losing valuable retirement and related benefit rights.

Detailed information about establishing reciprocity can be found in the CalPERS publication "When You Change Retirement Systems" (PUB-16) available online or in the Human Resources office.

Purchasing CalPERS Service Credit

As a member of CalPERS you may be eligible to purchase additional service credit such as service prior to membership, military service, and for certain types of leaves of absence.

More information can be found in "Service Credit Purchase Options" "PUB-12) and "Military Service Purchase Options" (PUB-15) both available online or in the Human Resources office.

SavingsPlus, Part-time, Seasonal, Temporary Employees (PST) Plan

The Federal Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1990 requires that part-time, seasonal, or temporary public employees who are not members of a retirement system be covered either by a qualified retirement plan or by Social Security. This requirement applies to Cal Poly employees who are presently excluded from membership in the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS).

Currently, all non-CalPERS eligible employees are placed into the Part-Time, Seasonal, Temporary Employees Retirement Program – Section 457 Deferred Compensation Plan. It is administered by the Department of Personnel Administration under the SavingsPlus Program.

Employees contribute 7.5% of their gross pay into the SavingsPlus PST plan. No employer contributions are made. Employees who participate in the SavingsPlus PST retirement program do not contribute to Social Security. For more information, see the PST Fact Sheet.

When you become a CalPERS retirement member after belonging to the SavingsPlus retirement plan, you have options with your PST funds:

Employment After Retirement

There are no limits to working for a non-CalPERS employer after retirement. However, there are restrictions when working for a CalPERS agency. For further information see the CalPERS Guide, "Employment After Retirement" (PUB 33) .

Retirement Funds after Separation

If you separate from Cal Poly and do not transfer to another CalPERS agency, the funds you contributed (plus any interest earned) remain your funds.
  • If you are a CalPERS member, review Leaving CalPERS Membership to see your options.
  • If you are a PST member, call SavingsPlus for instructions on how to withdraw your funds: (855) 616-4776.