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FAQS - PEPRA

  1. What is PEPRA?

    PEPRA is an acronym for the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013. Prior to 2013, LACERA was governed by the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 (CERL). As of January 1, 2013, LACERA is governed by PEPRA as well as CERL, both of which are in the California Government Code. You can find them under Retirement Law in the About LACERA section. LACERA members with membership dates on or after January 1, 2013 belong to a PEPRA plan.

  2. How does PEPRA affect members?

    LACERA members with membership dates on or after January 1, 2013 are affected by PEPRA through provisions affecting benefit formulas, the definition of what comprises pensionable earnings, limits on pensionable earnings, and other matters. The law also calls for PEPRA members to pay 50 percent of the normal cost of benefits and strengthens the rules involving pension forfeiture for public employees and elected officials who commit job-related felonies.

    All LACERA members are subject to:

    • The elimination of Additional Retirement Credit (ARC) purchases
    • New rules for retirees who return to work for the County on a limited basis while continuing to receive a retirement allowance
      • A retiree must wait 180 days from the date of retirement before returning to work for the County on a temporary basis
    • Pension forfeiture, without exception, if convicted of a job-related felony

    Retirement Plans D and E and Safety Plan B are now closed to new LACERA members with membership dates of January 1, 2013 or later.

  3. What’s a "new member"?

    PEPRA defines a "new member" as an individual who became a LACERA member for the first time on or after January 1, 2013 and was not previously employed by any other public employer in California. An individual who is a member of a reciprocal retirement system but ineligible for reciprocity based on service earned prior to January 1, 2013 is also considered a new member.

    The LACERA membership date is the first of the month following the date of hire. For example, if you were hired on February 6, 2015, your LACERA membership date would be March 1, 2015.

  4. What are the PEPRA-mandated retirement plans?

    All LACERA members with membership dates on or after January 1, 2013 are automatically enrolled in an open contributory plan, either General Plan G or Safety Plan C.

  5. What is the contributory rate structure for the PEPRA-mandated plans?

    PEPRA Plan G and Safety Plan C are based on a flat rate percentage of your base salary, plus certain other pay items included in pensionable compensation. In accordance with the law, contribution rates are structured to reflect 50/50 cost-sharing. Under 50/50 cost-sharing, the member and the employer are required to split the retirement system’s Normal Cost, which is the present value of the pension benefits accrued in the current year.

    Contribution rate percentages are subject to change as a result of several factors, including interest rate changes set by the Board of Investments, and system actuarial valuations. System valuations, which are performed every three years as prescribed by law, provide the basis for member contribution rate adjustments deemed necessary to properly fund the system.
    General Plan G Rates

    Safety Plan C Rates

  6. I’m retired and want to return to County service. How does PEPRA affect me?

    With few exceptions, retirees must wait 180 days from their date of retirement before returning to work for the County on a temporary basis. The maximum interval for post-retirement County employment is up to 120 working days (or 960 hours) in one fiscal year.

    To see exceptions to this waiting period and other details, read Retiree Return to Work: 120-Day Rule under the Benefits tab.

7/13/16