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  • Service credit is the time you accrue while on the job under a CalPERS-covered employer.
  • The minimum retirement age for service retirement for most members is 50 years with five years of service credit.
  • The more service credit you have, the higher your retirement benefits will be.
  • There are three basic types of retirement: service, disability, and industrial disability.
  • Your retirement benefits are based on a formula - not what you contribute into the system.

Retirement Benefits

CalPERS offers a defined benefit plan where retirement benefits are based on a formula, rather than contributions and earnings to a savings plan. Retirement benefits are calculated based on a member's years of service credit, age at retirement, and final compensation (average salary for a defined period of employment).

Retirement formulas vary based on:

  • Classification (e.g., miscellaneous, safety, industrial, or peace officer/firefighter)
  • Membership category (e.g., state, school, or public agency employer)
  • Specific provisions in the contract between your agency and CalPERS

The three basic types of retirement are:

  • Disability retirement for employees who can no longer perform the usual duties of their current position due to illness or injury
  • Industrial disability retirement for safety members, or members whose agency contracts for this benefit, who are unable to perform the usual duties of their current position due to a job-related illness or injury
  • Service retirement or "normal" retirement

CalPERS Beneficiary Designation Form

CalPERS School Benefit Publication