Retirees & Beneficiaries
Determining the COLA
Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLA), up to a 2 percent increase, are given on April 1st of each year based on the increase or decrease in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI) as of January 1st of each year (Government Code section 31870). The COLA is always rounded to the nearest one-half percent and will never exceed 2 percent. For example, if the CPI goes up by 1.34 percent, SBCERA’s retirees and eligible beneficiaries receive a 1.5 percent COLA.<
Generally, your retirement benefit is considered taxable for both federal and state income tax purposes. However, in some cases, all or a portion of your benefit may be excluded from your gross income for federal and/or state income taxes.
SBCERA Members* do not participate in Social Security. In other words, your earnings from your SBCERA-covered employment are not covered under Social Security.
Most SBCERA Members do participate in Medicare. Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older. SBCERA will generally notify you to apply for Medicare before you reach age 65. You should apply even if you do not intend to retire yet.
The Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA) imposes restrictions on the ability of a retiree to work for an employer in a retirement system while also collecting a pension from that system. In addition, existing state and federal laws already placed restrictions on employees who return to work. Some of the restrictions from existing and more recent legislation include, but are not limited to:
A beneficiary is the person the member has named in writing to receive such benefits provided by SBCERA upon the member’s death. The Primary Beneficiary is the first-named person or persons who would receive these benefits from SBCERA. The Alternate Beneficiary is the person or persons who would receive these benefits from SBCERA if there are no living primary beneficiaries on the date of the member’s death.