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CALPERS Question - Reinstatement


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  • CALPERS Question - Reinstatement

    A shot in the dark but here goes...

    I left a California PD seven years ago, since that time I have an inactive CALPERS account. If I go back to a California agency am I grandfathered in to the old retirement system. I asked CALPERS and they literally said it depends. Has anyone left and then come back since the retirement rules changed?

  • #2
    A lot of variables here but I attempt to answer your question, I don't think you are considered a "Classic Member."

    The new retirement law says you come back at 2.7 @ 57 and you pay 11% into PERS.

    You can only have a break in service that lasts no less than 6 months. If your break in service is less than 6 months you can come in at whatever the department offers for "Classic Members" (i.e. 3 @ 50, 3 @ 55, 2 @ 50 or 2 @ 55).

    All departments now have what they call Tier 1 and Tier 2 retirement plans, etc. etc.. Classic Members typically fall into the Tier 1 retirement category and new hires are the Tier 2 members.

    By law now, all new members (new academy grads, recruits and those with a break in service of over 6 months, which is YOU) must fall into the 2.7 @ 57 retirement plan.

    I could be wrong, don't know all of your circumstances.


    • #3
      I think if you vested and left your money in Calpers, you are a classic member IF you return to the same employer. I'm not sure you talked to the right person at Calpers though. Set up you online callers account, and use the email system to question them with your specific situation, and what agency you were and will be with. They should be able to give you a specific answer.

      Page 11 definition of a new member:

      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.


      • #4
        I know for a fact if you return to your old agency you are grandfathered in provided you either 1) Didn't withdraw your PERS contributions or 2) Re-deposit any withdrawn contributions with a number of days (I believe you have 30 days but it may be 60). I returned to my old agency after they had gone from [email protected] to [email protected] and then with pension reform to [email protected] Other PERS laterals get [email protected] I got [email protected]

        I'm pretty sure under pension reform, because you have been separated more than 6 months, you have to come in under the new retirement plans.

        You may want to make a retirement planning appointment at a PERS service center to get some facetime with them and confirm. PERS also has a FAQ website on pension reform:

        If you see me running try to keep up!


        • #5
          Under my understanding of pension reform it seems to me if your old employer took you back, and therefore got grandfathered in, you could then lateral to another PERS agency as a classic member.
          If you see me running try to keep up!


          • #6
            My understanding is if you are gone more then six months you are no longer a classic member.


            • #7
              I spoke to PERS, so apparently I can be reinstated by any PERS agency if they wish to honor the old retirement system, which honestly seems pretty unlikely. Thanks to everyone who answered I appreciate it.

              Stay safe and Merry Christmas!


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