Retirement FAQs

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General Information, Retirement

  1. Are all CSU retirees eligible for retirement health benefits?

    No. You must retire within 120 days of your separation from employment; have been eligible for enrollment in a CalPERS medical plan (or flex cash) on your date of separation; and receive a retirement allowance from CalPERS.

  2. How do I select a retirement date?

    The selection of your retirement date is one of the most important decisions to make when planning your retirement.

    • The first factor to consider is the calculation of service credit. Based on full time employment, you earn a full year of service credit when you have worked for 10 months during a fiscal year (calculation is prorated for part time service). If you are appointed less than full time you will continue to accrue service credit up to 12 months. You may only accrue up to 1.0 service credit per fiscal year. Any unused sick leave may be converted to service credit (2,000 hours equals one year).
    • The second factor to consider is your age. The calculation of the age factor for your retirement benefit increases each quarter year from your birthday at age 50 or 52, depending on your retirement tier. The benefit factor will remain constant at age 63 or 67, again depending on your retirement tier. Please see the retirement tier charts at www.calpers.ca.gov
    • The third factor affecting your retirement benefit is average salary, computed on the basis of your highest 12 months of earned salary (36 months if hired after January 2011). The amount of salary will be reduced by a Social Security factor. (Final compensation minus $133.33)
    • Another aspect of choosing a retirement date is the following:
      Do you want to retire mid-semester, the end of the academic year, the end of the calendar year, the end of the fiscal year, the end of the pay cycle, or on your birthday? Whether you are staff or instructional faculty will also have a bearing on your decision.
      For example:
      • Staff employees will typically retire at an age quarter (usually the end of a pay cycle) or the end of the calendar year. 1
      • Faculty will generally retire at the end of the spring semester or academic year (depending on an age quarter).
        This decision is a personal decision you will have to make. Each date will result in varying estimate calculations.

    To create a retirement estimate based on the factors of service, age and salary, see the CalPERS retirement calculator at: http://www.calpers.ca.gov and go to “online calculator”. For a more comprehensive estimate, employees are encouraged to register for a MyCalPERS account which is a secure self-service website where you may access real-time details and balances of your individual CalPERS accounts.

  3. What benefits can continue into retirement for retirees?

    Medical, dental and vision coverage can continue into retirement for eligible employees and their eligible dependents. CSU-paid life insurance (if applicable) does not continue into retirement. Retirees are provided the option to convert the life insurance to an individual policy. CSU-paid LTD insurance (if applicable) ends upon separation from employment.

  4. What mandatory deductions will I pay after retirement?

    You will continue to pay federal and state taxes. Social Security taxes and your contribution to CalPERS stop at retirement. You may be required to pay the Medicare tax of 1.45% of your gross retirement pay. Determining your taxation at retirement is a complex issue. You may contact CalPERS or request the booklet, "Taxation and Your Retirement" from CalPERS at www.calpers.ca.gov , or consult your tax advisor.

  5. Who is eligible to retire?

    Employees in the retirement tiers of State Miscellaneous, 2%@55 or 2%@60, may retire with five years of CalPERS service at age 50 years or older. Employees in the new retirement benefit tier of State Miscellaneous, 2%@62, may retire with five years of CalPERS service at age 52 or older. Please access link for detailed information for retirement tiers:

  6. Are all CSU retirees eligible for retirement health benefits?

    No. You must retire within 120 days of your separation from employment; have been eligible for enrollment in a CalPERS medical plan (or flex cash) on your date of separation; and receive a retirement allowance from CalPERS.

  7. How do I select a retirement date?

    The selection of your retirement date is one of the most important decisions to make when planning your retirement.

    • The first factor to consider is the calculation of service credit. Based on full time employment, you earn a full year of service credit when you have worked for 10 months during a fiscal year (calculation is prorated for part time service). If you are appointed less than full time you will continue to accrue service credit up to 12 months. You may only accrue up to 1.0 service credit per fiscal year. Any unused sick leave may be converted to service credit (2,000 hours equals one year).
    • The second factor to consider is your age. The calculation of the age factor for your retirement benefit increases each quarter year from your birthday at age 50 or 52, depending on your retirement tier. The benefit factor will remain constant at age 63 or 67, again depending on your retirement tier. Please see the retirement tier charts at www.calpers.ca.gov
    • The third factor affecting your retirement benefit is average salary, computed on the basis of your highest 12 months of earned salary (36 months if hired after January 2011). The amount of salary will be reduced by a Social Security factor. (Final compensation minus $133.33)
    • Another aspect of choosing a retirement date is the following:
      Do you want to retire mid-semester, the end of the academic year, the end of the calendar year, the end of the fiscal year, the end of the pay cycle, or on your birthday? Whether you are staff or instructional faculty will also have a bearing on your decision.
      For example:
      • Staff employees will typically retire at an age quarter (usually the end of a pay cycle) or the end of the calendar year. 1
      • Faculty will generally retire at the end of the spring semester or academic year (depending on an age quarter).
        This decision is a personal decision you will have to make. Each date will result in varying estimate calculations.

    To create a retirement estimate based on the factors of service, age and salary, see the CalPERS retirement calculator at: http://www.calpers.ca.gov and go to “online calculator”. For a more comprehensive estimate, employees are encouraged to register for a MyCalPERS account which is a secure self-service website where you may access real-time details and balances of your individual CalPERS accounts.

  8. What benefits can continue into retirement for retirees?

    Medical, dental and vision coverage can continue into retirement for eligible employees and their eligible dependents. CSU-paid life insurance (if applicable) does not continue into retirement. Retirees are provided the option to convert the life insurance to an individual policy. CSU-paid LTD insurance (if applicable) ends upon separation from employment.

  9. What mandatory deductions will I pay after retirement?

    You will continue to pay federal and state taxes. Social Security taxes and your contribution to CalPERS stop at retirement. You may be required to pay the Medicare tax of 1.45% of your gross retirement pay. Determining your taxation at retirement is a complex issue. You may contact CalPERS or request the booklet, "Taxation and Your Retirement" from CalPERS at www.calpers.ca.gov , or consult your tax advisor.

  10. Who is eligible to retire?

    Employees in the retirement tiers of State Miscellaneous, 2%@55 or 2%@60, may retire with five years of CalPERS service at age 50 years or older. Employees in the new retirement benefit tier of State Miscellaneous, 2%@62, may retire with five years of CalPERS service at age 52 or older. Please access link for detailed information for retirement tiers:

Medical Coverage, Retirement

  1. As a retiree can I change medical plans and add/delete dependents? How? When?

    Yes. You may change your medical plan and add/delete dependents by contacting CalPERS at (888) 225-7377 during the annual CalPERS Open Enrollment period or within 60 days of a qualifying status change.

  2. I'm currently enrolled as an active employee in a CalPERS medical plan. What do I do to obtain retiree medical coverage?

    If you retire less than 30 days after your separation date from employment, your medical coverage will continue automatically. If you retire between 30 and 120 days after your separation date from employment, contact Human Resources for more information.

  3. I'm currently enrolled in FlexCash. How do I enroll in a CalPERS retiree medical plan?

    You may request coverage within 30 days before or after your retirement date. To enroll before your retirement date, contact HR Benefits. To enroll after your retirement date, contact CalPERS at (888) 225-7377. If you do not enroll within 30 days before or after your retirement date, you must wait until the next annual CalPERS Open Enrollment period to enroll unless you experience a qualifying status change.

  4. What do I do when my dependents or I become eligible for Medicare?

    As a CalPERS retiree, you and/or your dependents must enroll in Medicare Part B when your reach age 65.

    Do not enroll in Medicare Part D as you already have a CalPERS prescription drug plan. If you enroll in Medicare Part D, your CalPERS health plan will be canceled until you are dis-enrolled.

    You and your dependents must certify your Medicare status with CalPERS when you each become eligible for Medicare and change from the Basic medical plan to a supplemental to Medicare or Managed Medicare plan at that time. Contact CalPERS at (888) 225-7377 to change your plan.

  5. What will be the monthly out-of-pocket enrollment cost?

    The cost to the retiree for medical coverage will depend on which plan and the level of coverage the retiree chooses.

  6. Which family members can be covered under the retiree health benefits?

    Eligible dependents include spouse, domestic partner, children under age 26, and disabled children over age 26. Certain restrictions apply.

  7. Will I have the same level of medical coverage as a retiree that I had as an active employee?

    You and your dependents remain in the Basic medical plan until you and/or your dependents become eligible for Medicare.

  8. As a retiree can I change medical plans and add/delete dependents? How? When?

    Yes. You may change your medical plan and add/delete dependents by contacting CalPERS at (888) 225-7377 during the annual CalPERS Open Enrollment period or within 60 days of a qualifying status change.

  9. I'm currently enrolled as an active employee in a CalPERS medical plan. What do I do to obtain retiree medical coverage?

    If you retire less than 30 days after your separation date from employment, your medical coverage will continue automatically. If you retire between 30 and 120 days after your separation date from employment, contact Human Resources for more information.

  10. I'm currently enrolled in FlexCash. How do I enroll in a CalPERS retiree medical plan?

    You may request coverage within 30 days before or after your retirement date. To enroll before your retirement date, contact HR Benefits. To enroll after your retirement date, contact CalPERS at (888) 225-7377. If you do not enroll within 30 days before or after your retirement date, you must wait until the next annual CalPERS Open Enrollment period to enroll unless you experience a qualifying status change.

  11. What do I do when my dependents or I become eligible for Medicare?

    As a CalPERS retiree, you and/or your dependents must enroll in Medicare Part B when your reach age 65.

    Do not enroll in Medicare Part D as you already have a CalPERS prescription drug plan. If you enroll in Medicare Part D, your CalPERS health plan will be canceled until you are dis-enrolled.

    You and your dependents must certify your Medicare status with CalPERS when you each become eligible for Medicare and change from the Basic medical plan to a supplemental to Medicare or Managed Medicare plan at that time. Contact CalPERS at (888) 225-7377 to change your plan.

  12. What will be the monthly out-of-pocket enrollment cost?

    The cost to the retiree for medical coverage will depend on which plan and the level of coverage the retiree chooses.

  13. Which family members can be covered under the retiree health benefits?

    Eligible dependents include spouse, domestic partner, children under age 26, and disabled children over age 26. Certain restrictions apply.

  14. Will I have the same level of medical coverage as a retiree that I had as an active employee?

    You and your dependents remain in the Basic medical plan until you and/or your dependents become eligible for Medicare.

Dental Coverage, Retirement

  1. I'm currently enrolled in a dental plan? What do I do to obtain retiree dental coverage?

    If your retirement date is within one pay period of your separation date from employment, coverage will be continuous. If your retirement date is more than one pay period and less than 120 days from your separation date from employment, contact HR Services for more information.

  2. I'm currently enrolled in FlexCash? How do I enroll in a retiree dental plan?

    FlexCash participants may request dental coverage within 30 days before, or 60 days after the retirement date by contacting Human Resources at 707-826-5172. You also may enroll during the annual open enrollment period.

  3. What happens with my dental coverage when I retire?

    If you are currently enrolled in the DeltaCare Enhanced (HMO) plan your dental coverage as a retiree will be reduced to the DeltaCare Basic plan. If you are enrolled in the Delta Dental Enhanced Level II (PPO) plan your dental coverage as a retiree will be reduced to the Delta Dental Basic plan.

    You can refuse enrollment in the basic dental coverage upon retirement and instead opt to continue your enhanced coverage under COBRA for up to eighteen (18) months. You pay the full cost for coverage under COBRA. Once COBRA ends, you can immediately enroll in a basic dental plan to avoid a lapse in coverage, or during any subsequent open enrollment period that follows the expiration date of COBRA coverage by contacting the CSU Chancellor’s Office for enrollment at 510-962-4111.

  4. What will be the monthly out-of-pocket enrollment cost for retiree dental coverage?

    Currently, CSU pays the full cost of the Basic level dental coverage for eligible retirees and their eligible dependents.

  5. I'm currently enrolled in a dental plan? What do I do to obtain retiree dental coverage?

    If your retirement date is within one pay period of your separation date from employment, coverage will be continuous. If your retirement date is more than one pay period and less than 120 days from your separation date from employment, contact HR Services for more information.

  6. I'm currently enrolled in FlexCash? How do I enroll in a retiree dental plan?

    FlexCash participants may request dental coverage within 30 days before, or 60 days after the retirement date by contacting Human Resources at 707-826-5172. You also may enroll during the annual open enrollment period.

  7. What happens with my dental coverage when I retire?

    If you are currently enrolled in the DeltaCare Enhanced (HMO) plan your dental coverage as a retiree will be reduced to the DeltaCare Basic plan. If you are enrolled in the Delta Dental Enhanced Level II (PPO) plan your dental coverage as a retiree will be reduced to the Delta Dental Basic plan.

    You can refuse enrollment in the basic dental coverage upon retirement and instead opt to continue your enhanced coverage under COBRA for up to eighteen (18) months. You pay the full cost for coverage under COBRA. Once COBRA ends, you can immediately enroll in a basic dental plan to avoid a lapse in coverage, or during any subsequent open enrollment period that follows the expiration date of COBRA coverage by contacting the CSU Chancellor’s Office for enrollment at 510-962-4111.

  8. What will be the monthly out-of-pocket enrollment cost for retiree dental coverage?

    Currently, CSU pays the full cost of the Basic level dental coverage for eligible retirees and their eligible dependents.

Vision Coverage, Retirement

  1. How long may I continue coverage of visual plan after I retire?

    If you enroll in the CSU Retiree Voluntary Vision Plan, you are required to maintain enrollment for a minimum period of 12 months. You will be required to maintain enrollment for the balance of the plan year in which you enroll and for 12 months in the following plan year, unless a permitting event occurs to change your enrollment. If you enroll in COBRA, you may continue coverage for up to 18 months.

  2. May I continue my vision coverage?

    Yes, benefits eligible retirees may continue coverage by enrolling in the CSU Retiree Voluntary Vision Plan or COBRA. Enrollment information is mailed to the retiree's home address.

  3. What is the difference between the CSU Retiree Voluntary Vision Plan and COBRA?

    The retiree plan has a three-tier monthly rate whereas COBRA has one composite premium rate for all enrollments. The retiree plan does not include the Vision Display Terminal (VDT) benefit. Otherwise the retiree plan benefits are comparable to the COBRA benefits.

  4. Who pays the monthly premium for the CSU Retiree Voluntary Vision Plan or COBRA?

    The monthly premium will be fully paid by the enrolled retiree and deducted from their warrant issued by CalPERS.

  5. How long may I continue coverage of visual plan after I retire?

    If you enroll in the CSU Retiree Voluntary Vision Plan, you are required to maintain enrollment for a minimum period of 12 months. You will be required to maintain enrollment for the balance of the plan year in which you enroll and for 12 months in the following plan year, unless a permitting event occurs to change your enrollment. If you enroll in COBRA, you may continue coverage for up to 18 months.

  6. May I continue my vision coverage?

    Yes, benefits eligible retirees may continue coverage by enrolling in the CSU Retiree Voluntary Vision Plan or COBRA. Enrollment information is mailed to the retiree's home address.

  7. What is the difference between the CSU Retiree Voluntary Vision Plan and COBRA?

    The retiree plan has a three-tier monthly rate whereas COBRA has one composite premium rate for all enrollments. The retiree plan does not include the Vision Display Terminal (VDT) benefit. Otherwise the retiree plan benefits are comparable to the COBRA benefits.

  8. Who pays the monthly premium for the CSU Retiree Voluntary Vision Plan or COBRA?

    The monthly premium will be fully paid by the enrolled retiree and deducted from their warrant issued by CalPERS.

Vacation Balance, Retirement

  1. What happens to my vacation balance when I retire?

    Your vacation balance can be paid to you in a lump sum upon retirement. Employees may request to use all or part of their vacation accruals prior to their retirement date. However, please note the use of vacation time must be authorized by the manager, even if directly preceding a service retirement.

    Employees who separate from employment who are otherwise eligible to cash out their vacation balance may choose to transfer a designated amount from their lump-sum separation pay into an existing Tax Deferred Retirement Savings Account (401(k)/ 403(b) and 457 plan account).

    If you choose to transfer an amount into a Tax Deferred account, you will need to complete a Request to Transfer Lump-Sum Separation Pay Application and submit to the Payroll Office prior to your retirement date. Copies of the application can be obtained in the Benefits Office.

  2. What happens to my vacation balance when I retire?

    Your vacation balance can be paid to you in a lump sum upon retirement. Employees may request to use all or part of their vacation accruals prior to their retirement date. However, please note the use of vacation time must be authorized by the manager, even if directly preceding a service retirement.

    Employees who separate from employment who are otherwise eligible to cash out their vacation balance may choose to transfer a designated amount from their lump-sum separation pay into an existing Tax Deferred Retirement Savings Account (401(k)/ 403(b) and 457 plan account).

    If you choose to transfer an amount into a Tax Deferred account, you will need to complete a Request to Transfer Lump-Sum Separation Pay Application and submit to the Payroll Office prior to your retirement date. Copies of the application can be obtained in the Benefits Office.

Disclaimer: This is a general description of post-retirement health benefits. Refer to plan documents for limitations and exclusions.