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Membership Eligibility

 

Employees Eligible for Membership

  • Employment at half-time or more for one year or more is covered by CalPERS retirement membership immediately upon appointment of the employee. (Government Code 20305(2))
  • Employment with a term of full-time continuous employment in excess of six months is covered by CalPERS retirement membership immediately upon appointment. In addition, shorter duration full-time temporary employment, which is extended to continue beyond six months is covered at the beginning of the first pay period following the completion of 125 days or 1,000 hours of service. (Government Code 20305(3)(A))
  • Part-time or intermittent employment exceeding 125 days (if paid on a per diem basis) or 1,000 hours within a fiscal year is covered by CalPERS retirement membership effective the beginning of the first pay period following the completion of 125 days or 1,000 hours of service. (Government Code 20305(3)(B))
  • Temporary faculty who work two consecutive semesters or three consecutive quarters at half time or more qualify for CalPERS membership effective with the start of the next consecutive semester or quarter if that appointment requires service of half-time or more. (Government Code 20305(4))

Employees Excluded from CalPERS Membership

  • Employment as a student assistant is excluded from CalPERS retirement membership (Note: teaching associates are not excluded from CalPERS membership). (Government Code 20300(c))
  • Employment as a youth summer aid under the federal job training partnership act is excluded from CalPERS retirement membership. (Government Code 20300(f))
  • Employment in extension programs is excluded from CalPERS retirement membership. (Government Code 20300(j))
  • Employment in addition to other full-time employment is excluded from CalPERS retirement membership. (Government Code 20300(k))
  • Employment as Senate, Assembly, and Executive Fellow is excluded form CalPERS retirement membership. (Government Code 20300(l))

Pension Reform - Classic vs PEPRA Membership

 
The California Public Employees' Pension Reform Act (PEPRA), which took effect in January 2013, changes the way CalPERS retirement and health benefits are applied, and places compensation limits on members.
 
As defined by PEPRA, a new member includes:
  • A member who first established CalPERS membership prior to January 1, 2013, and who is rehired by a different CalPERS employer after a break in service of greater than six months
  • A new hire who is brought into CalPERS membership for the first time on or after January 1, 2013, and who has no prior membership in any California public retirement system
  • A new hire who is brought into CalPERS membership for the first time on or after January 1, 2013, and who is not eligible for reciprocity with another California public retirement system
  • All members that don't fall into the definitions above are considered classic members. Classic members will retain the existing benefit levels for future service with the same employer.

CalPERS is ultimately responsible for determining an employee's retirement benefit formula. 

 
 

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