While you may have the ability to access some of your investments, such as a 401(k), this isn’t possible for the funds in your CalPERS pension account. There is only one instance where you can access your CalPERS pension contributions — when you leave CalPERS employment.
If you do leave CalPERS employment, the following two options are available to you:
- Take a lump-sum refund or rollover.
This option includes a refund of your member contributions plus interest, but not any employer contributions made on your behalf. By selecting this option, you’ll end your CalPERS membership and benefits. This means you’ll lose the right to receive a service or disability retirement benefit.
- Leave the contributions and interest in your account.
Under this option you can still receive a retirement benefit if you later meet the minimum retirement eligibility requirements.
To find out more, visit What Happens to Your Pension When You Leave CalPERS Employment?
What About My Deferred Compensation Plan?
CalPERS deferred compensation plans include the 457 Plan and Supplemental Contributions Plan.
If you’re enrolled in one of these deferred compensation plans, you may be eligible for a hardship withdrawal under specific circumstances, such as:
- If you’re experiencing a difficulty due to an accident or illness, and the hardship isn’t covered by other resources or insurance.
- If you’ve lost property, and the loss isn’t covered by other resources.
- If you have a valid COVID-19-related financial hardship.
Visit our Deferred Compensation webpage to find a listing of CalPERS’ deferred compensation plans.
If you participate in one of these plans, and you’re interested in a hardship withdrawal, contact the plan administrator directly to learn if you qualify.