Retirement Benefits

Have You Checked Your Benefit Factor Chart?

Basic Retirement Calculation: Service Credit mutiplied by benefit factor multiplied by final compensation equals the highest pension ebefit. In other words, the number of years of CalPERS service multiplied by the percentage of pay based on your age multiplied by your highest monthly average salary for a defined period equals your highest possible monthly benefit after you retire from CalPERS.

No matter where you are in your career, it’s never too early to plan for retirement by reviewing your CalPERS benefit factor chart to see your potential percentage of pay in retirement.

Let’s start with some definitions:

  • Benefit factor: This is the percentage of pay you are entitled to receive for each year of CalPERS-covered service. It’s determined by your age at retirement and your retirement formula.
  • Retirement formula: Your retirement formula is determined by your employer’s contract with CalPERS (for example, 2% at age 55). Your retirement formula and your age determine what benefit factor is used to calculate your retirement benefit.
  • Final compensation: This is the highest average annual compensation you earned for a 12-month or 36-month consecutive period of employment, depending on your employer’s contract.

Here’s an example calculation:

Carla is retiring at age 55 under the state miscellaneous 2% at 55 formula with 25 years of service credit. Her final compensation average is $4,500 a month.

To estimate her pension amount, Carla multiples her years of service credit by the benefit factor. Then she multiples that result by her final compensation amount:

  • 25 years × 2% benefit factor = 50%
  • 50% × $4,500 final compensation = $2,250 unmodified allowance (monthly pension amount)
  • Note: The unmodified allowance is the highest amount payable when you retire.

Know Your Numbers

If you don’t know your retirement formula (or formulas from your past employment), you can log in to your myCalPERS account to see your formula on the home page under CalPERS Account Summary. You can also ask your employer. Your employer can also tell you if you have a 12-month or 36-month final compensation period.

Find Your Benefit Factor Chart

Once you know your retirement formula, go to our Benefit Factor Charts webpage to select the chart for your formula (you can view, print, or save your PDF document). You’ll see how your benefit factor increases for each quarter year of age, and the percentage of final compensation you will receive. If you have multiple retirement formulas from different employers, read Planning Your Service Retirement (PUB 1) (PDF) to see calculation examples with multiple formulas.

Log in for Your Personalized Estimate

Do you want a detailed retirement estimate that uses data your employer already reported to CalPERS? Then log in to your myCalPERS account to estimate your pension amount for different retirement options. You can generate a variety of scenarios and save them in myCalPERS for future reference.