Contribution & Interest Questions


Can I withdraw or borrow my retirement contributions from OCERS while I’m in active service?

The County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 (CERL) prohibits members from withdrawing contributions from the retirement fund while in active service. You may withdraw contributions once you terminate OCERS covered employment.

Do I receive interest on my contributions? How is the rate determined?

Yes, the Government Code requires that contributions receive 2.5% interest twice a year.

Member contributions are credited with 2.5% at the end of June and December based on the account balance as of the prior 6 months.

How much money do I have in my retirement account?

You can view your current retirement contribution balance by logging into your myOCERS portal account and visiting the Participant Account section. You also have the ability to print a personalized account balance statement by visiting the Member Statements section of your myOCERS portal account. 

Contribution balances are updated every pay period and interest is accrued at the end of June and December.

What happens to my retirement contributions after I separate from active employment?

When you separate from active employment, you have several options:

If eligible, you may retire and receive a monthly retirement allowance.

If you are not retirement eligible, your retirement will be automatically deferred (postponed). You may retire when you meet the minimum age and service requirements. Your contributions will remain on deposit and continue to earn interest. If you become a member of a reciprocal retirement system, visit the reciprocity page for additional information.

In lieu of retirement, you may withdraw your contributions and interest. Be advised that taking a withdrawal terminates your membership in OCERS and by doing so, you will forfeit (give up) your right to any future retirement benefits from OCERS, including disability benefits.

Why is OCERS using an older age as the basis for my contribution rate rather than the age I started with my employer?

Your age at entry is determined by using your nearest age within 180 days (six months) of when you became an OCERS member. 

For example, if you are hired on July 1, enter OCERS membership at age 30, and your birthday is September 5, your entry age and contribution rate will be based on age 31 as your next birthday is less than 180 days.

What if I reach my Compensation Limit for the year? Do I continue to have my OCERS contributions deducted?

PEPRA plans U, V and W are subject to an annual compensation limit for calculating retirement benefits under Section 7522.10 of the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA). The compensation limit is adjusted annually, based on the changes to the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: U.S. City Average.

All other plans are subject to an annual compensation limit for calculating benefits under Section 401(a)(17) of the Internal Revenue Code. If you became a member of OCERS on or after January 1, 1990 this compensation limit applies to you. 

In the event a member’s annual earnings reach the maximum amount permitted in that calendar year, OCERS will request that the employer discontinue deducting retirement contributions from that individual member’s pay for the remainder of the calendar year. Deductions for OCERS contributions will resume the following January.

See the current compensation and benefits limits here.