Applying for Retirement

Service retirement is a lifetime benefit. Employees can retire as early as age 50 with five years of CalPERS pensionable service credit unless all service was earned on or after January 1, 2013, then employees must be at least age 52 to retire. There are some exceptions to the 5-year requirement. If you are employed on a part-time basis and have worked at least five years, or you are also a member of a reciprocal retirement system, contact CalPERS to find out if an exception applies to you.

Employees can apply for service retirement online, in person (check with CalPERS for availability), or by mail. It is recommended that employees begin planning for retirement one year before retirement.  Planning for Retirement Checklist

Notify Campus Benefits

An important step, when applying for retirement, is to notify campus benefits.  Please complete and submit this form to notify us.  This will help us to provide you with a smoother transition into retirement.

Click here to Notify Benefits

Choosing a retirement date is not a one-size-fits-all decision. Each person’s retirement date will differ for various reasons, but there are some key factors to look at that will help you narrow it down. Learn more by viewing the CalPERS Quick Tip: Choosing a Retirement Date (Length:  2:52)

 CalPERS Quick Tip:  Choosing a Retirement Date When’s the Best time to retire?


Do you have membership in multiple California public retirement systems?  If so, when choosing your retirement date, please check with CalPERS to see if you are eligible for reciprocity.  If so, CalPERS will use the hightest average annual compensation during any 12- or 36-month period of employment as long as you retire from each system on the same date.

As a result of the Public Employees' Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA), CalPERS will consider reciprocity when they determine your benefit formula. Refer to your member benefit publication for new formulas in effect due to PEPRA.

For more information, including a list of reciprocal retirement systems that have agreements with CalPERS, read When You Change Retirement Systems (PUB 16) (PDF).

Use the CalPERS Retirement Estimate Calculator or log in to myCalPERS to estimate your monthly pension benefit.  By logging in to my|CalPERS to create an estimate, you benefit from the estimate calculator using the latest data CalPERS has on record. You can create and save multiple estimates.  This can be a helpful tool in choosing your retirement date.

Learn more about the Retirement Estimate Calculator in this CalPERS Quick Tip (Length 1:11):

 CalPERS Retirement Estimate Calculator

 You can complete and submit your retirement application online through your myCalPERS account.  This 15-minute webinar provides a general overview of how to apply and submit your retirement application online.

CalPERS Webinar:  Your Online Service Retirement Application


 To file electronically, employees can log in to my|CalPERS. Go to the Retirement tab, select Apply for Retirement, and follow the steps for submitting your application and required documents online to CalPERS.

There are a number of benefits to filing for retirement electronically:

  • Easily and securely submit an application 24 hours a day.
  • Leave the online application and return at any point to complete it.
  • Prior to submission, review and edit information.
  • Receive confirmation that the application has been successfully submitted.
  • Submit additional required documents online (see Service Retirement Election Application (PUB 43) for details on the documents needed.
  • Use the Electronic Signature to eliminate the notary requirement for the member signature.

For step-by-step instructions on filling out a paper service retirement application, employees can review the Service Retirement Election Application (PUB 43) or take the instructor-led or online Member Education class, Completing Your Retirement Application. For additional assistance, employees may make a one-on-one appointment at a CalPERS Regional Office (check for availability). Employees may submit a hard copy retirement application and required documents in person at a CalPERS Regional Office (check on availability) or by mail.

Contact CalPERS at 888 CalPERS (or 888-225-7377) with retirement application questions.

If you have submitted your CalPERS retirement application, please complete this online form (if you haven't done so already) to notify campus benefits.  This will help us to provide you with a smoother transition into retirement.

Notify Benefits