SBCERA Cover Story

A true local treasure, Oak Glen serves as one of San Bernardino County’s most scenic and charming escapes. While early autumn in Southern California can sometimes feel like a continuation of summer, Oak Glen offers cooler temperatures, stunning views, and of course, the fall apple harvest.

The fall harvest produces a multitude of ripe apple varieties for tourists to pick, from Red Delicious to Honeycrisp, Gala and much more. Each apple is enjoyable in its own unique way, and the type of apple selected usually depends on its purpose. The tart taste of the Granny Smith apple is a popular choice for pie baking, whereas the Fuji is mostly selected for eating.
Similarly, when you elect to retire from SBCERA, you will have the opportunity to pick from a variety of benefit payment options that determine how you wish to collect your retirement benefit, and how much your beneficiary will be paid after you pass away. There is no single option that works best for everyone. Rather, the option you pick must be right for you and your beneficiary.

Retirement Options

Unmodified Option
Like the traditional Red Delicious apple, the unmodified option is the most commonly selected retirement option. Providing you with the maximum lifetime monthly benefit for which you are eligible, the unmodified option continues to pay your eligible beneficiary (spouse, domestic partner or eligible minor child/children) following your death. Your beneficiary will continue to receive a lifetime monthly benefit of 60% of the amount you were receiving. If you do not have an eligible beneficiary, then a lump sum of any undistributed refundable contributions would go to your designated beneficiary.

Option 1
Less common, Option 1 is perhaps like the Newtown Pippin, an apple mostly used for special purposes such as apple sauce or cider. This option pays a reduced lifetime benefit to you based on your life expectancy, and provides a lump sum payment of any undistributed refundable contributions to your designated beneficiary, excluding an estate. This is the only option that allows you to change your beneficiary after retirement.

Option 2
The Jonagold apple is known as one of the most versatile varieties. Among your retirement options, Option 2 provides more versatility when it comes to selecting a beneficiary for continuance. This option provides you with a reduced lifetime monthly retirement benefit based on your age and the age of your beneficiary, and provides a lifetime monthly continuance to your beneficiary in the full amount you were receiving. Under this option, your designated beneficiary must have an insurable interest in your life, such as a spouse, child or business partner, but you are unable to select an estate.

Option 3
The York Imperial apple is a rare selection due to its unusual shape, but it is known to its fans as tasty and durable because it holds much of its flavor during initial storage. Also holding more of its initial “flavor,” Option 3 is sometimes selected because although it does give a reduced benefit based on the ages of the member and beneficiary, the reduction to the member is smaller than that of Option 2. However, Option 3 only provides only a 50% continuance of your benefit to your beneficiary.

Option 4
Today, hybrid varieties of apples such as the Cosmic Crisp are being created through cross-pollination. At SBCERA, we have a “designer” retirement option that allows for custom continuances to one or more beneficiaries. This option is often selected in situations of divorce where a judge has specified multiple payees in a domestic relations order (DRO). Option 4 provides a reduced lifetime benefit based on your age and the age of your beneficiary(ies).

These retirement options are only available to vested members eligible for retirement. For a more detailed overview of each option, we encourage you to visit

At SBCERA, we realize that selecting your retirement option can be a difficult decision. Our knowledgeable retirement specialists are available to answer any questions you may have and can calculate benefit estimates for each option, thereby allowing you to make an informed decision. However, while we are happy to guide you through the process, it will ultimately be up to you to select the best option for your particular situation.

Regardless of which option you select, you can count on SBCERA to provide you with a lifetime monthly benefit in retirement. Members often appreciate the variety of retirement options available, and we are confident that once you have made your selection, you will greatly enjoy your retirement harvest.