Planning for Retirement

Planning for retirement doesn't have to be confusing. We recommend meeting with your campus benefits office and/or CalPERS, to discuss your personal retirement plan, however the resources below can jumpstart your planning in the right direction. It is never too early to start learning more, considering your options, and planning for retirement.

This page will cover Working After Retirement,
including FERP​ and Rehired Annuitant​,
as well as information on Service Credit Purchase and Social Security​.

Working After Retirement

Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP)

Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP) serves as a retirement transition opportunity from full-time employment to retirement for eligible faculty members. The FERP program allows eligible tenured faculty to retire and continue working part-time for up to five years.

FERP participants receive retiree medical benefits. However, per the CBA, FERP participants who meet CSU eligibility criteria (working at least half-time) are enrolled in CSU enhanced dental benefits, provided they were enrolled at the time of retirement. They also receive the CSU basic vision coverage.

FERP participants can carryover up to forty-eight (48) hours of sick leave into the FERP appointment. FERP participants continue to accrue eight (8) hours of sick leave per qualifying academic pay period (pro rata for less than full-time). A maximum of one hundred and sixty (160) hours of sick leave may be accrued during FERP.

The salary rate for FERP participants is based on their rank and rate of pay at the time of retirement. The pay rate must fall within the published pay scales for their rank and classification.

During that period, the faculty member receives full pension benefits and also receives pay at their regular rate, proportionate to time worked, while working.

CalPERS Post-Retirement Impact
It's crucial to understand the specific limitations and guidelines associated with FERP, as there are significant consequences for both faculty members and the CSU system for non-compliance.

  • To be eligible, faculty must be at least the normal retirement age. The normal retirement age, for CalPERS purposes, is the age listed in the faculty retirement benefit formula. For example, faculty must be age 55 for the 2% at 55 formula or age 62 for the 2% at 62 formula in order to be eligible for FERP.
  • Faculty cannot FERP or agree to FERP until they have reached their normal retirement age.
  • FERP participants work at their pre-retirement salary and rank, but for a reduced time base (not exceeding a total of 960 hours, across CalPERS employers, in a fiscal year or 50 percent of the hours the member was employed during the last fiscal year of service prior to retirement, whichever is less).

FERP Participation in Voluntary Retirement Programs
FERP members have the opportunity to contribute towards voluntary retirement benefits including the 403(b), 401(k), and 457(b). However, certain rules apply for FERPs wishing to partake in the voluntary contribution, including the requirement to restart contribution elections with their corresponding voluntary contribution account at the beginning of each FERP appointment for a full academic year or for six-month appointments. If an employee separates from active service and then returns to retiree status without a break in salary, a contribution election change must be submitted to Fidelity to restart the 403(b) contribution election after each semester worked. It is essential for participants to understand and comply with these guidelines to ensure a smooth FERP experience.

Contact your campus benefits office for more information on the Faculty Early Retirement Program.

Rehired Annuitant (RA)

You may be interested in working at a California State University (CSU) campus after retirement to supplement your income as a rehired annuitant. A rehired annuitant can perform limited CSU post-retirement employment without reinstatement or penalty as rehired annuitants. While working after retirement is permitted; there are specific laws and limitations governing the type, timing, and amount of work you can perform.

The Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP) is a type of post-retirement employment and has similar limitations governing it.

Restrictions on Post-Retirement Employment
The California Public Employees' Retirement Law (PERL) and federal tax law govern post-retirement employment and provide specific employment restrictions for retirees who return to work with an employer in the same public retirement system from which they receive a benefit

These restrictions are intended to prevent the “double-dipping" of a retiree receiving a monthly CalPERS retirement benefit while also receiving a salary from permanent or regular staff employment with a CalPERS employer. If you work in violation of these laws, CalPERS may terminate your retirement and collect all the retirement allowance paid to you during the period of unlawful employment.

You don't need CalPERS' approval to work as a retired annuitant, however, you have a responsibility to ensure your potential employment is lawful by meeting all of the requirements outlined in Employment After Retirement (PUB 33) (PDF).

It is recommended to schedule a one-on-one with your campus benefits officer and CalPERS and understand the provisions of post-retirement employment.

Basic Rehired Annuitant requirements include:

  • Your position must be designated as a retired annuitant position (not any other full- or part-time position).
  • You have skills needed to perform work of limited duration or your employment is needed during an emergency (such as floods, earthquakes, etc.) to prevent stoppage of public business.
  • You must wait 180 days after your retirement date before you can return to work for a CalPERS employer. Exceptions to the 180-day wait period can be found in Employment After Retirement (PUB 33) (PDF).
  • The hours you work cannot exceed 960 hours in a fiscal year (July 1 through June 30) for employment with all CalPERS employers combined. Nonpaid or volunteer hours can't be used to exceed 960 hours in a fiscal year.
    • CSU employees cannot exceed 960 hours in a fiscal year or 50% of the hours employed during the last fiscal year prior to retirement, whichever is less
  • If you retire prior to your "normal retirement age" (i.e., age 55 for the 2% at 55 formula, age 60 for the 3% at 60 formula), there must be a termination of employment for 60 days between your retirement date and the date your employment as a retired annuitant will begin. In addition, there can't be a verbal or written agreement to return to work as a retired annuitant between you and any CalPERS employer before you retire. If you have multiple retirement benefit formula ages, the highest benefit formula age applies, up to the maximum normal retirement age of 62 (i.e., age 62 for the 1.25% at 65 formula).
  • Your salary must be an hourly pay rate that falls within the regular salary schedule for that position.

Service Credit Purchase

In some cases, you may be able to purchase CalPERS service credit that can help you maximize your retirement benefits.

CalPERS offers a variety of service credit purchase options. However, there are some limitations on who is eligible. In most cases, you will be required to pay for this service credit. Only you can decide if the increase to your future benefits is worth the cost. Refer to the CalPERS website www.calpers.ca.gov for service credit cost estimators and additional information on the service credit options. See PUB 12 - A Guide to Your CalPERS Service Credit Purchase Options.

Redeposit of Withdrawn Contributions

This option is available if you received a refund of your CalPERS contributions and interest and then returned to CalPERS-covered employment, or if you had a portion of your account removed due to a community property settlement, or for a reciprocal redeposit.

  • Service Prior to Membership (SPM)
  • Employment with a CalPERS-covered employer before becoming a CalPERS member may be creditable by purchase after you become a CalPERS member. If eligible, you must purchase all available SPM service credit. There is no limit to the amount of SPM service credit you can purchase.
  • Military Service
  • You may be eligible to purchase military service credit if you served in active military duty prior to your CalPERS membership or took a leave of absence to serve on active duty.
  • Leave of Absence
  • A leave of absence is time you had authorization from your employer to be absent from some or all of your duties (e.g., maternity or paternity leave, temporary disability, sabbatical, etc.) You may be able to purchase service credit for this time.

To obtain a cost estimate from CalPERS to purchase any service credit you may be eligible for, you must initiate the process via your myCalPERS account. CalPERS must receive your election form to purchase service credit and full payment in advance of your retirement date. You may be eligible to utilize your PST, 403(b), and 457 account funds to purchase eligible service credit. View more information and steps to apply by logging into your my|CalPERS account.


Service Credit Purchase Webinar
Understand Your Pension
Installment Payment Guidelines

Social Security

As a member of CalPERS, employees also participate in Social Security.

  • Social Security and Medicare taxes are withheld from an employee's paycheck.
  • Withholding rates are 6.2 percent for Social Security and 1.45 percent for Medicare.
  • As of January 2013, individuals with earned income of more than $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples filing jointly) pay an additional 0.9 percent in Medicare taxes.

*As a member of the PST, employees do not participate in Social Security.
You can visit the Social Security Administration (SSA) website for more information and learn more on their Social Security FAQ page. Please visit the CalPERS website to learn about how your pension may impact your social security benefit.