Does the university have a retirement program?
Yes. The California State University (CSU) participates in the CalPERS program. Membership is mandatory for eligible employees. Retirement program eligibility is based on appointment type, duration, full-time equivalency (FTE) and previous public agency or reciprocal agency employment. Retirement formulas vary based on the member’s occupation and their CalPERS membership date.
To qualify for CalPERS membership, employees must be appointed as follows:
- Full-time appointments over six months
- Half-time appointments for one year or longer
- Adjunct Faculty must be appointed at half-time (7.5 units) or higher for three (3) consecutive semesters. Subsequent appointment can be for any units.
Employees excluded from CalPERS membership are covered by the CSU Part-Time Retirement Plan (PST).
What does the CSU service retirement program provide?
The service retirement program is a lifetime benefit. If hired prior to January 1, 2013, the employee can retire as early as age 50 with five years of service credit. If the employee became a member on or after January 1, 2013, they must be at least 52 years old to retire.
What is Vesting?
Employees are vested (eligible for retirement) when they have 5 years of CalPERS membership based on their date of hire and have reached the minimum retirement age.
How do I earn service credit?
You earn service credit for each year or partial year you work for a CalPERS-covered employer. It accumulates on a fiscal year basis (July 1 through June 30) and is one of the factors used to calculate your future retirement benefits.
How long must I work in a fiscal year to earn a full year of service credit? You must work at least:
Full time (monthly pay employees): 10 months
Hourly pay employees: 1,720 hours
Daily pay employees: 215 days
Do I have to pay towards the CSU retirement program?
Yes. Employees contribute a percentage of their gross monthly income. Ranging from 5% to 11% based on several factors such as position held and date of employment. Employee contributions are deducted on a pre-tax basis.
What happens to my contributions if I separate from the university without Retiring, and?
I am not vested.
Separating employees who are not yet vested with CalPERS, have the option of leaving their contribution on deposit with CalPERS (and continue to earn interest), or withdraw their employee contributions plus interest after separation.
I am vested, but not ready to retire.
Vested employees who separate but are not ready to begin receiving retirement benefits from CalPERS, may choose to retire at a later date. Employee contributions may be left on account with CalPERS until actual retirement. Employees must remember that retiree health care benefits will be lost if the employee does not retire within 120 days of separating from the CSU.
For more information, employees may contact the CalPERS Customer Service Center at (888) 225-7377 or visit CalPERS Online .
Do I have to contribute to social security?
It is mandatory for employees contributing to CalPERS to also contribute to Social Security with the exception of Public Safety Officers and a few employees who have been employed with the CSU prior to 1961 and opted out of Social Security. CalPERS benefits are coordinated with Social Security.
When am I eligible for service retirement?
Service retirement is a lifetime benefit. Employees with five years of CalPERS service and hired before January 1, are eligible to retire at age 50 (or age 52 if hired after January 1, 2013). There are some exceptions to the 5-year requirement.
Are all CSU retirees eligible for retirement health benefits?
No. You must retire within 120 days of your separation from employment; must have been eligible for enrollment in a CalPERS medical plan on your date of separation; and must receive a retirement allowance from CalPERS.
Are there any health benefit vesting requirements for CSU retirees who meet the health benefit eligibility rules?
Yes, there are vesting requirements. For some CSU bargaining units, if you were hired on or after certain dates you are subject to a 10-year health vesting period for retiree health benefits. Once you reach 10 years of state service, you are fully vested and qualify for 100 percent of the state's contribution towards your health premium.
Bargaining units and hire dates for 10-year health vesting are as follows:
Bargaining Unit 3 - July 1, 2017
Non-represented employees - July 1, 2018
Bargaining Unit 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10 - July 1, 2018
Does my unused sick leave count towards retirement?
Any unused sick leave is converted to additional service credit if the employee retires within 120 days of separation from employment. Eight hours of sick leave equals one day (.004 of a year of service). It takes 250 days of sick leave to receive one year of service credit (.004 x 250 = 1 year).
What benefits can continue into retirement?
Medical and dental benefits continue into retirement for eligible employees and their dependents. Vision is available under a voluntary plan. The CSU-paid life insurance will end on the separation date. For more information, please contact The Standard .
What will be the monthly out-of-pocket cost for benefits?
The cost of your medical plan will depend on which plan and level of coverage you choose. Generally, retirees pay the same monthly premium as active employees until you and/or your dependents become eligible for Medicare. There is no cost to you for the Basic dental plan. You may wish to enroll in a retiree vision plan for a nominal monthly premium.
Will I have the same coverage as a retiree that I had when I was an active employee?
Medical - Upon your retirement, if you need to, you will be able to change your medical plan. Once you are eligible for Medicare, you will be enrolled in the supplemental to Medicare Plan. Please visit CalPERS/Meicare for more information.
Dental - The retiree dental changes to a basic plan with a slight reduction in benefits. The CSU pays 100 percent of the monthly premium cost for basic dental coverage for all eligible retirees and their eligible dependents, which includes a spouse or registered domestic partner and/or children up to age 26.
Effective January 1, 2020, retirees have the option to purchase enhanced coverage and pay the difference between the basic coverage and enhanced coverage.
The CSU and Vision Service Plan (VSP) offer you a choice of two vision plans: Basic or Premier. The VSP Premier plan offers a higher level of benefits for lenses, contacts and frames.
For more information on the retiree dental and vision benefits, please visit the CSU Retiree Page.
Please note: If your retirement date is the 1st through the 10th of the month, your active employee benefits end at the end of that month. If your retirement date is the 11th through the 31st of the month, your active employee benefits end at the end of the following month.
I am currently enrolled in a CalPERS medical plan. What do I do to obtain retiree medical coverage?
If your retirement date is within 30 days of your separation date you will not need to do anything, the Total Wellness Team will ensure that your coverage continues. If your retirement date is more than 30 days and less than 120 days from your separation date, you need to contact CalPERS at (888) 225-7377 to enroll in medical.
What do I do when I (or a dependent) become eligible for Medicare?
You and your dependents must certify your Medicare status with CalPERS when you each become eligible for Medicare. At that time, you will need to choose a Medicare supplement plan. Visit the CalPERS website or call 888-225-7377 to change your plan.
I am currently enrolled in a dental plan. What do I do to obtain retiree dental coverage?
If your retirement date is within 30 days of your separation date and you want to keep the dental basic plan you will not need to do anything, the Total Wellness Team will ensure that your coverage continues. If you want to purchase the enhanced dental plan, you need to contact Total Wellness at Dl-TotalWellness@Fullerton.edu.
If your retirement date is more than 30 days and less than 120 days from your separation date, you need to contact Total Wellness at Dl-TotalWellness@Fullerton.edu to continue/enroll in dental.
How does my dental coverage change?
Once you retire, your dental coverage will change from the Enhanced level of coverage to the Basic level (does not apply to FERP participants). Shortly after your separation you will receive information regarding the change.
If you want to purchase the enhanced dental plan, you need to contact Total Wellness at Dl-TotalWellness@Fullerton.edu.
What will the monthly out-of-pocket cost be for retiree dental coverage?
Currently, the CSU pays the full cost of the Basic dental coverage for eligible retirees and their dependents.
I am currently enrolled in FlexCash. How do I enroll in a retiree plan?
FlexCash participants may request health coverage within 30 days before or 60 days after retirement. To enroll before your retirement date, contact Total Wellness at DL-TotalWellness@Fullerton.edu. To enroll after your retirement date, contact CalPERS at 888-225-7377 . You may also enroll during any subsequent open enrollment period.
Can I change my health plans and add or delete dependents?
You may change your plans and add or delete dependents during the annual open enrollment period or within 60 days of a qualifying event.
I am ready to retire, who do I notify?
Prior to retirement, employees should notify their qualifying retirement program and complete the University's separation and property clearance process.
Once retired, who do I contact with benefit-related questions or concerns?
Contact CalPERS directly at 888-225-7377 .