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BENEFITS


RETIREMENT CHECKLIST AND TIMELINE

Retirement is a process. We created a timeline of activities to review and manage as you progress through your retirement planning.

3 to 5 Years
Three to Five Years Prior to Your Retirement:

  • Attend a LACERA Pre-Retirement Workshop.
  • Create your own Retirement Benefit Estimate online at either lacera.com, or My LACERA.
  • Maximize contributions to your deferred compensation and/or savings plans.
  • Maximize your pensionable earnings; purchase service credit.
  • Speak with a LACERA Retirement Benefits Specialist.
  • Target a possible retirement date.

6 Months
Six Months Prior to Your Retirement:

  • Call LACERA at 800-786-6464 to request a Retirement Benefit Estimate and Election form.
  • Update your beneficiary record.

2 Months
Two Months Prior to Your Retirement:

  • Meet with a LACERA Retirement Benefits Specialist to assist you in preparing your retirement paperwork. The Specialist will provide you with enrollment forms for LACERA-administered retiree medical and dental insurance.
  • Bring the following documents with you:
    • Your completed Retirement Benefit Estimate and Election Form.
    • Your original Certified Marriage Certificate or Certificate of Registered Domestic Partnership.*
    • LACERA Beneficiary Designation Form and your beneficiary's original certified birth certificate (for Unmodified+Plus or Options 2, 3, or 4).
    • Completed Direct Deposit application with a voided check from your checking account.
      • If you are a new retiree, we suggest enrolling in a Direct Deposit account prior to your retirement date to ensure your first retirement allowance is received according to schedule.**
    • Completed Tax Withholding form W-4/DE-4P. (Per IRS and California Franchise Tax Board regulations, if you do not fill out a withholding form, tax will be withheld as if you were married and claiming three withholding allowances.)
  • Notify your department of your retirement date.
  • Prepare your finances to complete any outstanding service credit contracts (contracts must be paid within 120 days following retirement).

Related documents you may need to submit:

  • If you were divorced during your County employment, you must provide LACERA with a conformed copy (with the court clerk's filing date stamp and the judge's signature) of all the pages of your Judgment of Dissolution and any other orders directing division of benefits.
  • If you are in the process of a divorce at the time of retirement, LACERA cannot pay your retirement allowance until the Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage is final and a court order directing the community property division (QDRO) of your LACERA benefits is received.
  • If you are a Plan E Member with service prior to 1983, or a contributory member selecting the Pension Advance Option—to insure accuracy, we recommend you submit your Social Security Statement.
  • LACERA-administered medical and/or dental insurance enrollment forms.
  • Original certified birth certificate for any dependents that will be covered under LACERA-administered health and/or dental insurance.

*If you were married or in a domestic partnership at least one year prior to retirement.
**LACERA is mindful of getting our retirees their payments in a timely manner. However, if incorrect information is recorded, delays in processing or unforeseen banking issues may occur. If this is the case, your first retirement allowance may be by check and may be delayed approximately one week until your Direct Deposit begins.

12/9/15