Pre-Retirement Webinar – June 23, 2023

StanCERA will be hosting a Pre-Retirement Webinar on Friday, June 23, 2023, at 10:00 a.m.  The webinar is designed for those who plan to retire within the next five years.

Topics include:

  • How to apply for retirement
  • Benefit options available
  • Information required when application is submitted … and more!

Registration for the webinar is required and space may be limited.  Once registration has been confirmed, an email will be sent with details, including a link to download webinar documents.

Click here to register:  https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN__p9kcqGiSxa8JZzZLrl–g

(if link does not open, copy and paste into browser)

Board of Retirement Grants 2023 Cost of Living Adjustment

On February 28, 2023, the Board of Retirement approved the 2023 Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA).  StanCERA bases its COLA increases on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for All Urban Consumers in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward area.  The 2023 COLA for retirees is based on the change in CPI from December 2021 and December 2022.  The CPI increased by 4.882% resulting in a 5% total COLA.  3% will be granted and 2% will be deposited into the member’s COLA bank.

Based on Government Code Section 31870.1, retirees, other than members of Tier 3, are limited to 3% COLA increases annually.  All retirees, with the exclusion of Tier 3, should receive an increase in benefits by 3%.  The remaining 2% will be deposited into COLA banks for future granting (with the exclusion of Tier 3).

Cost of Living Adjustments will be reflected for benefits payable in April 2023, which will be paid on May 1, 2023.

As a reminder, Tier 3 members are not eligible for COLA increases.

Alameda Decision Update : Active Members

Refunds are currently being processed for Active Members affected by the Alameda Decision.  If you are an active member in this group, you will be notified by U.S. Mail at the time your refund is being processed.  Due to the large number of refunds being processed, status of refunds or updates cannot be given over the phone.

StanCERA Board of Retirement Approves Triannual Actuarial Experience Study – Changes to Member Rates July 1, 2022

StanCERA Board of Retirement Approves Triannual Actuarial Experience Study – Changes to Member Rates July 1, 2022

The StanCERA Board of Retirement approved the Triannual Actuarial Experience Study on February 22, 2022.  This study accounts for demographic changes and economic factors.  Due to assumption rate changes, member rates will be changing July 1, 2022.  for additional information visit: https://www.stancera.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/2018-2021-Experience-Study-StanCERA.pdf

 

Alameda Decision Update: Active Member Calculations

Calculations are currently underway for Active Members affected by the Alameda Decision.  The calculations should be completed prior to the end of first quarter of 2022.  Additional information regarding active member refund status will be sent to those affected via U.S. Mail.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Alameda Decision for Active/Deferred Members

Will I still be able to cash out vacation pay in the final year (or 3 years) prior to retirement and have that count in the calculation of my final average salary and ultimately in my retirement benefit?

Yes; The Alameda Decision did not affect the use of vacation cash outs in the calculation of your final average salary. In fact, Government Code Section 31461 (2) explicitly states that Compensation Earnable (pensionable salary) does not include the following:

“Payments for unused vacation….that exceeds that which may be earned and payable in each 12-month (or 36 month) period during the final average salary period, regardless of when reported or paid”

So, a StanCERA member may continue to cash out vacation pay in their final average salary period so long as it does not exceed that which you can earn in the 12 or 36 month period (whichever is applicable) from which your final average salary will be calculated.  Any cash out must adhere to applicable labor/bargaining unit agreements.

If I have made contributions to StanCERA that were attributable to on-call pay, will I be receiving a refund of those contributions?

Yes; Any member contributions made beginning with the first full payroll period from January 2013 to September 1st 2020, and attributable to on-call pay will be refunded to members. StanCERA expects to process these refunds in early 2021.

How will the Alameda Decision affect my future StanCERA retirement benefit?

The answer to this question depends on how much of your final average salary would’ve been attributed to on-call pay. For example, if 3% of your expected final average salary would’ve been attributed to on-call pay, then your expected StanCERA benefit would decrease by approximately 3%. StanCERA staff has found that the average amount of on-call pay used in the past in the calculation of a member’s final average salary is around 4%. However, over 95% of our members do not report on-call pay at all to StanCERA.

Does the Alameda Decision affect my ability to work on-call duty and receive that as compensation?

No; The Decision does not affect your ability to work on-call duty and receive extra compensation for that work. It only affects StanCERA’s ability to use those amounts in the calculation of your final average salary and ultimately, your expected retirement benefit.

Do you anticipate any other pay elements to be excluded from the calculation of final average salary?

No; StanCERA staff has been in consultation with our legal counsel and we believe that on-call pay is the only element that affects StanCERA and addressed in the Alameda Decision.

Click to Read FAQ’s