Existing law, the Teachers’ Retirement Law (TRL), establishes the State Teachers’ Retirement System (STRS) and creates the Defined Benefit Program of the State Teachers’ Retirement Plan, which provides a defined benefit to members of the program, based on final compensation, creditable service, and age at retirement, subject to certain variations. STRS is administered by the Teachers’ Retirement Board. Existing law creates the Cash Balance Benefit Program, which is administered by the board, to provide a retirement plan for the benefit of participating employees who provide creditable service for less than 50% of full time.
The TRL defines “creditable service” in connection with the Cash Balance Benefit Program with reference to specified activities performed for certain employers, including for a prekindergarten through grade 12 employer, as
specified, and for a community college employer, as specified. STRS prescribes the activities that earn creditable service in this regard to include trustee service, as specified.
This bill would revise the description of trustee service to link it to the definition of this service, which means duties performed by a member of the governing body of an employer.
Existing law requires that creditable service subject to coverage by the Cash Balance Benefit Program and service with the last employer or employers of the participant that is creditable under the Defined Benefit Program be terminated prior to the member’s retirement date.
This bill would revise this requirement to instead specify that this termination of services does not include retired member activities, as defined, or retired participant activities, as defined. The bill would also make these changes in provisions
relating to termination benefits under the Cash Balance Benefit Program.
Existing law authorizes a participant in the Cash Balance Benefit Program to designate or change the designation of one or more primary beneficiaries and one or more contingent beneficiaries to receive a lump-sum death benefit that may be payable. Existing law authorizes a person, trust, or the estate of the participant to be a beneficiary for the lump-sum death benefit.
This bill would delete the authorization for a person, trust, or the estate of the participant to be a beneficiary of the lump-sum death benefit and would add a provision generally authorizing a corporation, trust, charitable organization, parochial institution, or public entity to be designated as a beneficiary, while prohibiting these entities from being designated as an annuity beneficiary, except as specified.
The Public Employees’
Retirement Law (PERL) creates the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), which is administered by the Board of Administration of the Public Employees’ Retirement System. PERL, until January 1, 2023, provides a state safety member of the PERS who retires for industrial disability a retirement benefit equal to the greatest amount resulting from 3 possible calculations. In this regard, the benefit amount is based on an actuarially reduced service retirement, a service retirement allowance, if the member is qualified, or 50% of the member’s final compensation, plus an annuity purchased with their accumulated contributions, if any. Existing law establishes the Public Employees’ Retirement Fund, which is a trust fund that is appropriated continuously for various purposes, including the payment of benefits.
This bill would extend the operation of these provisions until January 1, 2028. By providing that a continuously appropriated fund may be spent for a new purpose,
this bill would make an appropriation.
The County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 (CERL) authorizes counties to establish retirement systems pursuant to its provisions for the purpose of providing pension, disability, and death benefits to county and district employees. CERL vests management of the retirement systems created pursuant to its provisions in a board of retirement.
CERL requires, upon the death of a member, the payment of a retirement allowance earned but not yet paid to a member to be paid to the member’s designated beneficiary. CERL requires, upon the death of a person receiving a survivor’s allowance, the payment of any allowance earned but not yet paid to the survivor to be paid to the survivor’s designated beneficiary.
This bill would include a corporation, a trust, or an estate in the definition of “beneficiary” for purposes of these provisions.
CERL restricts the types of employment for which members may receive credit for service and restricts credit for other employment in public service based upon whether the member is entitled to receive a pension or retirement allowance from another public agency. If a member elects to contribute to obtain credit for other employment in another public agency, CERL requires certification, as specified, of the fact that pension or retirement allowance will not accrue to the member by virtue of the member’s employment.
This bill would specify that the provisions described above do not prohibit a member from receiving credit for a period of federal public service if federal law expressly permits the credit even though the member is already entitled to receive a pension or retirement allowance from that service.
CERL prescribes a process for purposes of establishing a date of retirement
with reference to safety members. CERL authorizes a safety member to be retired upon the occurrence of certain events and the filing, with the retirement board, of a written application setting forth the date upon which the member desires their retirement to become effective. CERL prohibits this date from being more than 60 days after the date of filing the application.
This bill would revise the restrictions on the above-described effective retirement date to prohibit the retirement date from being earlier than the date the application is filed with the board or more than 60 days after the date of filing the application or more than a number of days that has been approved by the board.
CERL authorizes the payment of a death benefit upon the death of a member while in service. CERL prescribes the components of the death benefit, which are a member’s accumulated contributions and an amount, provided from contributions by a
county or district, calculated pursuant to a specified method, not to exceed 50% of annual compensation earnable or pensionable compensation of the deceased.
This bill would require, in connection with the calculation of the death benefit, that the computation for any absence be based on the compensation of the position held by the member at the beginning of the absence.
This bill would also make nonsubstantive style and technical changes.