Active Member Information
You automatically become a member of the Retirement System on the date you commence employment in an eligible position.
The State of California passed the Public Employees Pension Reform Act (PEPRA) that amended certain sections of the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 (better known as the “37 Act”) under which OCERS operates. The law created new benefit types for new employees/members entering public agency employment and public retirement system membership for the first time on or after 1/1/2013.
You are in an eligible position if you are employed by a participating agency as one of the following:
- A full-time employee
- A part-time employee scheduled to work 20 hours per week or more
- A limited term full-time employee
- A limited employee scheduled to work 20 hours per week or more
All other employees are ineligible for membership. These include part-time employees scheduled to work less than 20 hours per week, extra-help, and contract employees.
Members are asked to designate a beneficiary upon employment, and update the designation when changes such as birth, death, marriage or divorce occur. A beneficiary is a person that you (the member) name in writing to receive certain benefits provided by the plan upon your death. For certain death benefits your Eligible Spouse or Qualified Domestic Partner must be listed at the time of your death.
Plan Names and Benefit Formulas
Various employers (Plan Sponsors) provide different benefit formulas. View a list by employers.
For Members Eligible to Choose A Retirement Benefit Plan Formula
Certain County of Orange and Superior Court employees who were active members of OCERS prior to January 1, 2013 who move to certain eligible positions with the County of Orange and Superior Court within six months if it is a new employer, or those who were employed by a reciprocal system prior to January 1, 2013, are required to elect their retirement benefit formula within 45 days of their hire date. Because the decision to select either the “1.62% at 65″ Plan P or “2.7% at 55″ Plan J is irrevocable, OCERS is providing a number of resources that can be viewed or printed to help eligible members select the benefit plan that’s better for them.
Below you will find links to information on contribution rates for both plans, as well as an overview of the impact your plan selection will have on your ultimate retirement allowance. Please spend some time and weigh your options carefully before selecting your benefit formula.
By reading the Summary Plan Description (SPD), you will find out what your benefits are, when they begin, and how their timing and distribution differ depending on various events in your life. The SPD provides disclosure of the terms and conditions of OCERS’ membership, retirement, disability, and death benefits available to members. It is designed to give you this information as simply and accurately as possible as of the date of issuance.
Employee contributions to the retirement system are mandatory. Your employer has elected to have your contributions made on a pretax basis. This means that the funds are deducted from your pay before taxes are calculated. The result is that your taxable income is reduced which in turn lowers the amount of taxes you have to pay.
The amount of contribution you pay depends on:
OCERS permits members to purchase Service Credit or redeposit withdrawn OCERS contributions.
Login to the myOCERS member portal and submit request online or download the .
How to Purchase Service Credit
For active or deferred members, the following periods may be purchased provided the service meets the necessary requirements:
If you are called to service or volunteer for service in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard (or any of their reserves), Army National Guard, Air National Guard and certain other types of uniformed services, you may be entitled to certain pension rights upon your return to employment. In 1994, the Federal government passed a law called the “Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act,” commonly known as “USERRA,” to protect certain rights and benefits, including pension benefits of employees who are absent from work in order to serve in the uniformed