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BENEFITS


PEPRA: OVERVIEW

The Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA) became effective on January 1, 2013. Since that date, LACERA has been governed by the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 (CERL) and PEPRA. Both laws are contained in the California Government Code.

PEPRA affects those with LACERA membership dates of January 1, 2013 or later through provisions affecting benefit formulas, the definition of what comprises pensionable compensation, limits on pensionable compensation, and other matters. The law also requires those 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.

In January 2013, LACERA established two new retirement plans — General Plan G and Safety Plan C — for members with membership dates on or after January 1, 2013. Contributions for these plans are based on a single flat-rate percentage and are structured in accordance with the required 50/50 cost-sharing. A member’s entry age to LACERA is not considered.

Note: Individuals with membership dates on or after January 1, 2013 who established reciprocity based on membership in a reciprocal system prior to 2013, and former members of LACERA who terminated membership and withdrew their contributions prior to 2013 and later return to County service and redeposit are considered pre-PEPRA members.

Although most PEPRA sections affect those with 2013 (or later) membership dates, the following provisions apply to all members, including those with earlier membership dates (pre-PEPRA members).

Provisions Affecting All Members, Regardless of Hire date

The Purchase of Additional Retirement Credit (ARC) Is Prohibited

ARC purchases by any member, regardless of hire or retirement date, were discontinued effective January 1, 2013. Existing ARC contracts are not affected by PEPRA.

Returning to Work: The “120-Day Rule”

Under PEPRA, eligible retirees can still return to County work for up to 120 days in any year and continue to receive their retirement allowances. However, with a few exceptions, eligible retirees must wait 180 days from their retirement before returning to County work. Additional restrictions apply.

Pension Forfeiture for Any Public Employee Convicted of a Job-Related Felony

PEPRA establishes pension forfeiture, without exception, for all public employees convicted of a job-related felony.

The law calls for forfeiture of "all accrued rights and benefits in any public retirement system" by any public employee convicted of any felony, as of the earliest date of the crime, "for conduct arising out of or in the performance of his or her official duties, in pursuit of the office or appointment, or in connection with obtaining salary, disability retirement, service retirement, or other benefits."