Deferred Members

Deferred Members


Upon termination of employment with a participating SBCERA employer, you can choose to “defer” your retirement and go on deferred membership status if:

  • You have 5 years of service credit and are vested, or
  • You are employed by another public employer and are eligible to establish reciprocity.
  • Your employment status changes from a full-time position to a part-time position and you no longer contribute to SBCERA.

Types of Deferred Membership

Deferred Vested Member – A member who is vested but no longer employed by a participating SBCERA employer. They have elected to leave their contributions “on deposit” with SBCERA and retire at a later date when they are eligible and ready to begin receiving their lifetime retirement benefit.

Deferred Reciprocal Members - A member who is no longer employed by a participating SBCERA employer who elected to leave their contributions “on deposit” with SBCERA and successfully established reciprocity with an eligible public retirement system.

Interest Earnings on Your Contributions

As a deferred member, your contributions and interest on deposit with SBCERA continue to accrue interest. The interest is credited to your retirement account twice a year in June and December. The interest is based on SBCERA’s actuarial assumed rate of return (7.25%) or the six-month Treasury bill rate, whichever is lower. The interest is applied as of the last day of the prior six-month interest crediting period. For example, if your account balance on June 30th was $1,000 the interest would be credited to this $1,000 account balance at the end of the six-month period on December 31st.

View my account balance and interest earned

Access to My Contributions

You cannot borrow from your SBCERA retirement account. However, if you are a deferred vested member you may refund your refundable contributions and interest. A refund would end your membership with SBCERA and you would no longer be eligible for a monthly lifetime retirement benefit. If you are a deferred reciprocal member, you cannot refund your contributions and interest. They must remain on deposit.

Eligibility for Retirement

To retire and begin earning your lifetime retirement benefit you must meet one of the following age and/or service credit requirements. If you are deferred reciprocal member, your reciprocal service credit can be used to meet these requirements:

Tier 1 Member (SBCERA membership date is prior to January 1, 2013)

  • Age 50 with at least 10 years of service credit. If you did not reach 10 years of service credit as an active member, you will become eligible to retire on the date when you would have had 10 years of service credit had you continued to work for a participating SBCERA employer.
  • At any age with 30 years of service credit or more for General Members. Or, 20 years of service credit or more for Safety Members.

Tier 2 Member (SBCERA membership date is on or after January 1, 2013)

  • General Members at age 52 with at least 5 years of service credit.
  • Safety Members at age 50 with at least 5 years of service credit.

Am I eligible to retire? View your first eligible date to retire in mySBCERA.

Returning to Work

If you return to work for a participating SBCERA employer in a position that qualifies for SBCERA membership, you can once again become an active member of SBCERA. As long as you were vested, you will be placed in the membership Tier you were in previously.

Deciding to Retire

Your retirement benefits do not automatically begin once you become eligible to retire. You must apply for retirement with SBCERA. If you are a deferred reciprocal member, you must retire concurrently from both or all public retirement systems on the same date. Please be sure to notify all reciprocal agencies of your intended retirement date.

Based on the Internal Revenue Service’s guidelines, you cannot stay in a deferred membership status after the age of 70½. If you have not retired by this age, SBCERA will notify you regarding your options.

Important: If you die while you are in a deferred member status with SBCERA, your beneficiary(ies) will receive a lump sum return of your retirement contributions plus interest as of the date of death. No additional death benefits are offered to your beneficiaries.

Keeping Your Information Up-to-Date

SBCERA sends you regular correspondence throughout the year including the Quarterly Review newsletter and an annual member statement around July of each year. Therefore, it is important you notify SBCERA of any changes to your name or address. To do so, complete an Address/Name Change Request form. If you would prefer to receive these materials electronically, you can sign up for eDelivery.  In addition, please update your beneficiary. You can verify whether all of this information is up-to-date by logging into mySBCERA

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