Applying for Retirement

SBCERA offers a variety of resources to assist you in preparing for retirement. As you approach retirement, SBCERA encourages you to attend a Pre-Retirement Seminar and/or a one-on-one consultation with a Retirement Specialist. However, you can request a one-on-one consultation at any time during your career.

Steps to Retire from SBCERA

Once you have decided to retire and have chosen your effective date of retirement, you must apply for retirement with SBCERA by completing the following steps:

  1. Request a Service Retirement Packet: Approximately sixty (60) days (or less) prior to your effective date of retirement, notify SBCERA and we will mail you a Service Retirement Packet. The packet will include a benefit estimate based on your effective date of retirement and the forms required to complete your retirement.  If you would like a benefit estimate prior to requesting a packet, you can request an estimate online or create your own estimates online.

  2. Complete and Return Your Service Retirement Packet: Read and complete your packet carefully. You will notice the enclosed Service Retirement Application requires a witness’ signature and should be signed in the presence of a witness. In addition, it must be signed and dated no more than 60 days prior to your effective date of retirement. Once completed, you may submit your packet to SBCERA in one of the following ways:
    • One-on-One Service Retirement Consultation – You can schedule an SBCERA service retirement consultation. You must complete the packet prior to the consultation. You will sign your application in front of a Retirement Specialist who will serve as your witness.
    • Group Service Retirement Appointment – Attend a group service retirement appointment for a final overview of your benefit, what to expect and to get answers to any remaining questions. All forms must be completed prior to the appointment. You will sign your application during the presentation and an SBCERA representative will sign as your witness. SBCERA hosts one group appointment per month. Each session is approximately one-hour long and can accommodate up to 12 members and guests.
    • Complete on Your Own and Return to SBCERA – If you would prefer not to meet with SBCERA, you may complete your packet on your own and mail it to SBCERA. Be sure to sign your application in the presence of a witness, who must also sign the application. The witness must be an adult and cannot be your nominated beneficiary.

  3. Inform Your Employer: While you are not required to notify your employer, we highly encourage you to give your employer as much notice as possible. Once you submit your application, SBCERA will notify your employer of your effective date of retirement and will submit your application to the Board of Retirement for approval. Once your application has been approved, you will be considered retired on your chosen effective date of retirement.

  4. Certificate of Retirement: You will receive an official Certificate of Retirement. You can choose whether to have the certificate mailed to you or to your employer.

  5. Celebrate! You’re Retired: Shortly after you are put on SBCERA’s payroll, you will receive a Certification of Retirement from SBCERA that provides your final monthly retirement benefit amount and the factors used to calculate your benefit.

  6. Receiving Your Monthly Benefit: Once retired, you will be paid by direct deposit on the last business day of each month. Because payments are made only once a month, you may not receive your first SBCERA benefit payment for one to two months after your retirement. Since benefits are paid monthly, your first benefit payment may be prorated and paid retroactively based on your effective date of retirement.

Other Considerations When Applying for Retirement

  • Your Beneficiary: Decide in advance who your beneficiary will be in retirement. You will be required to provide personal information about your beneficiary including their Social Security number, address, and date of birth. You must also provide an original or certified copy of a birth certificate, passport or naturalization paperwork for you and your beneficiary, and a marriage certificate or domestic partnership registration information, if applicable. You can provide these documents to SBCERA at any time during your career.

  • Invite a Guest: SBCERA encourages you to invite your spouse, registered domestic partner, child and/or another guest to attend consultations and/or seminars with SBCERA. This is an important time in your life and you may find having a “buddy” with you will help you through the process.

  • Retiree Insurance Benefits: While coordinating your retirement with SBCERA, you should contact your employer or the County of San Bernardino Employee Benefits & Services Division (EBSD) regarding your medical, dental and life insurance options. SBCERA only administers your retirement benefit; we do not administer any medical or dental benefits for retirees or beneficiaries.

  • Changing Your Mind: You can rescind your application or change your retirement date by submitting a written request to SBCERA prior to receiving your first benefit payment. However, such a request will not automatically reinstate you as an employee. The decision regarding whether to reinstate you as an employee will rest with your former employer.