Retirement should not be earlier than the first of the month in which the employee's application is received by CalPERS. Employees must be age 50 or 52, depending on the CalPERS formula, for a service retirement. The earliest possible retirement date is the day following an employee's separation of employment (last day on pay status). Retirement may be effective any day of the week--if the employee's last day of employment is Friday, retirement may be effective on Saturday.

To maximize the retirement benefit, employees may decide to retire on their birthday or a subsequent birthday quarter to increase their benefit factor. If planning to retire at the beginning of a calendar year, consider the cost-of-living allowance (COLA) when choosing a retirement date. The COLA (up to 2% based upon the consumer price index) is applied annually to the retirement allowance on the May 1st (April retirement roll) retirement check, starting with the second calendar year following the retirement date.

Academic year employees should look at when to separate and retire — at the end of the academic year or end of summer when their paychecks normally run out.

For some, it is better to remain on the payroll through the summer months due to various factors (additional service credit, attaining a birthday quarter, continuance of employer‐paid vision coverage and life insurance, which does not continue into retirement, etc.)

For other academic employees, it is more beneficial to collect retirement pay during those summer months and receive a settlement (payout) check for Cal Maritime earnings normally paid over the summer months. Faculty are urged to discuss retirement dates with their respective departments/colleges and Academic Affairs. How long an employee stays on payroll is subject to approval.