SBCERA Cover Story

“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June.
My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” – Dr. Seuss


Has 2016 already come and gone? From New Year’s resolutions to summer vacations, holiday gatherings and everything in between, you may find yourself in amazement at “how the time has flewn.”

Let’s be honest. With the fast pace of daily life and volatility in financial markets and world events, it can sometimes feel like time and money are moving too fast for us. However, as SBCERA members, you can take comfort in knowing that managing your time and planning to maximize your future retirement benefit is never beyond your grasp. In fact, though it may seem like there are never enough hours in a day, there may be hours in your history that can work to your advantage. What exactly do we mean?

Your future retirement benefit is based on four factors: your age at retirement, final average compensation, benefit formula, and your service credit, which is the total number of hours you worked and earned credit as a member of SBCERA. Under the following circumstances, you may be able to purchase additional service credit to enhance your future benefit and/or bring you closer to vesting and retirement eligibility.

Redeposit of Withdrawn Contributions: If you previously worked for a participating SBCERA employer and withdrew your contributions upon termination of employment, you may restore these years of service credit by redepositing all of your withdrawn contributions, plus interest. Doing so gets you back on track towards vesting and retirement eligibility, and enhances your future benefit. If you were a Tier I Member prior to termination, your Tier I status would be restored upon completion of the redeposit.

Past Ineligible Service: You can purchase all or part of the time you worked with a participating SBCERA employer that was considered ineligible for SBCERA membership. This typically includes part-time, CETA, seasonal, per diem, student worker or temporary services.

Authorized Leave: If you go on authorized medical leave, you may be eligible to purchase up to 12 consecutive months of service credit for the time you did not earn while on medical leave. You may also purchase military leave taken while you were an active SBCERA member.

Prior Public Agency Service (PPAS): You may be able to purchase all or part of your prior service with another public agency, including service with the State of California and/or the federal government, as long as you will not receive a pension or retirement benefit from that agency for the time. However, you may purchase prior military time regardless of whether or not you are entitled to receive a pension or retirement benefit.

If you are interested in learning more about service credit purchases, you can contact us at ServiceCredit@SBCERA.org.

As with all retirement matters, SBCERA is here to help you make the most of your time and money. We encourage you to take an active role in your retirement planning in the year ahead. Whether or not you are eligible and interested in a service credit purchase, our Retirement Specialists are available by appointment to discuss your options. In addition, SBCERA’s Mid-Career and Pre-Retirement Planning Seminars are an excellent tool to assist in planning your retirement. For more information, please visit www.SBCERA.org/Seminars.

Despite how quickly the years fly by, you can count on SBCERA to serve as a source of timeless stability. From the entire SBCERA team, we wish you a restful holiday season and a Happy New Year!