Your Contributions

Your Contributions


Contributions to the SBCERA pension fund are made by you and your employer. These contributions are held in trust by SBCERA and invested for the long-term.

Your Contributions

Your Contribution Rate

Current Rates 

SBCERA employer and member contribution rates are set annually and any changes to the rates are determined by financial studies conducted by independent actuaries. The SBCERA Board of Retirement reviews and sets contribution rate increases or decreases on the basis of these studies each fiscal year. Learn more about the Actuarial Valuation and Review.

Member contributions are paid through payroll deductions and are based on your membership classification and tier. Tier 1 Members pay a percentage of their earnable compensation based on their entry age, while all Tier 2 Members pay a uniform percentage of their pensionable compensation, regardless of age.

2023-2024 Contribution Rates

Note: Rates are effective July 1, 2023, for most SBCERA members, except at the following employers: Barstow Fire Protection (June 25, 2023) CSAC and SCAQMD (June 26, 2023). 

Past Employee Contribution Rates

Dated Information for Historical Reference Only

2022-2023 Contribution Rates
2021-2022 Contribution Rates
2020-2021 Contribution Rates
2019-2020 Contribution Rates
2018-2019 Contribution Rates
2017-2018 Contribution Rates
2016-2017 Contribution Rates

Your member contribution is paid through payroll deductions and is based on your membership classification and tier (i.e. General vs. Safety, and Tier 1 vs. Tier 2).

  • Tier 1 Members pay a percentage of their earnable compensation based on their entry age. Your entry age is your closest age when you began working for your employer permanently or your entry age from another public pension system with which you have previously established reciprocity.  If you are a Tier 1 member that has left employment and you were rehired by an SBCERA-covered employer, your contribution rate will be based on your entry age from your earlier employment if: you are rehired within 90 days and your contributions remain on deposit with SBCERA, you redeposit your contributions within 180 days of being rehired, or if you are vested and left your funds on deposit with SBCERA when you left employment. If not, your entry age will be based on your birthday closest to your rehire date.
  • Tier 2 Members pay a uniform percentage of their pensionable compensation, regardless of age.

Since contributions are taken as payroll deductions, they will be taken from a partial paycheck if the paycheck amount is sufficient to cover the entire contribution. No contribution will be paid if the entire contribution cannot be taken.

You cannot increase your contributions or add to them to increase your future benefit. Since SBCERA is a defined benefit plan, your future lifetime retirement benefit will be calculated according to a formula and not by how much money you have contributed to the plan. Therefore, increasing your contributions will not increase your future benefit.

You will contribute to SBCERA throughout your career with a participating SBCERA employer.  However, there are some exceptions that may nullify your requirement to make further contributions to the plan:

  • If you are Tier 1 member with a membership date prior to January 1, 2013, and you earn 30 years of service credit with a participating SBCERA employer; or
  • If you were an SBCERA Tier 1 member on March 7, 1973, with 30 years of total service credit including reciprocal and/or Prior Public Agency Service (PPAS) time; or
  • If you are Tier 1 member with a membership date on or after April 9, 2002 and prior to January 1, 2013, with 30 years of service credit including reciprocal time; or
  • You change your employment status to a position excluded from SBCERA membership.

You can view your current total accumulated refundable contributions with SBCERA by logging into your mySBCERA account.  Your accumulated refundable contributions are also provided on your annual SBCERA member statement, which is sent to you digitally or by mail, approximately one month following your birthday.

Refundable and Nonrefundable Retirement Options (Tier 1 Only)

You may be able to change your retirement contribution option during open enrollment if you are a Tier 1 Member permitted under the Public Employee Pension Reform Act (PEPRA), and as allowed by your Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).  Please contact your Employee Benefits Division or Human Resources Department to find out if you’re eligible and for more information. 

Refundable Retirement Contributions

If you designate your retirement contributions as refundable, then you pay the regular contribution rate required to meet your retirement obligation. If you leave employment without retiring, you may withdraw or rollover these refundable contributions plus earned interest in one lump-sum payment from SBCERA.

Nonrefundable Retirement Contributions

If eligible, and you designate your retirement contributions as nonrefundable, you pay a reduced contribution rate. This reduction is determined by the Board of Retirement annually and is subject to change. If you leave employment without retiring, you may not withdraw or rollover these non-refundable contributions from SBCERA.

Learn more by viewing our Retirement 101 – 5 Differences Between Refundable and Nonrefundable

Accessing Your Contributions

You cannot borrow from your SBCERA account.  You cannot withdraw your contributions while you are still employed by a participating SBCERA employer or while under a reciprocal agreement. If your status changes to part-time or your hours are reduced making you ineligible for SBCERA membership, you will no longer pay retirement contributions or accrue service credit. However, your past contributions will remain on deposit and continue to earn interest. You may not refund these contributions unless you terminate your employment. If you terminate your employment with a participating employer, you may take a refund of your accumulated refundable contributions and the interest credited on them. However, taking a refund will end your membership with SBCERA and eliminate any future eligibility for a monthly SBCERA retirement benefit.

Employer Contributions

Employer contribution percentages vary by employer and plan membership. Employer contributions are not refundable to the employee at any time.

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