Retirement Benefits

How to Use the Retirement Estimate Calculator: A Step-by-Step Guide

Shot of a young woman using a laptop and calculator while working from home

It’s simple to use the CalPERS Retirement Estimate Calculator to get an idea of what your monthly retirement benefit might be.

If you use the calculator in your myCalPERS account, some of the fields will pre-populate from data your employer has already submitted.

If you don’t have a myCalPERS account, you can use the calculator on our website, but you’ll have to enter your own information.

It’s also a good idea to review in advance our publication Planning Your Retirement (PUB 1) (PDF).


Once you log in to your myCalPERS account, find the Calculate Your Retirement link and then Start a New Estimate.

  1. Choose how you want to calculate: by earliest date, age, or a specific date.
  2. Enter your work status.
  3. Choose whether to include unused sick leave hours. Your employer must contract for this option, which adds time to your service credit.
  4. Follow prompts to indicate a survivor and number of beneficiaries.
  5. Select the Calculate button.
  6. Select a monthly payment option for your beneficiary or beneficiaries. You can use different options to see how your choice affects your benefit.

That’s it! You can save as many different estimates as you like.

CalPERS Website

This calculator will require more information from you:

  • Name, date of birth, and planned retirement date.
  • Your final compensation (you must calculate this figure).
  • Amount of unused sick leave.
  • Years of service as of the last fiscal year.
  • Your retirement formula (it’s on your latest Annual Member Statement).
  • Whether you have survivor continuance through your employer contract, Social Security coverage, are currently working, and your time base.
  • Your CalPERS-covered employment history.
  • Eligible survivor name and date of birth.

The resulting report includes your monthly benefit estimate for the year requested, as well as forecasts for the following four years.

Requesting an Estimate Letter

These two estimating tools will give you just that: good planning estimates. You’ll still want to request an estimate letter before starting your retirement application process.

  • If you’re within one year of retiring, you can request an estimate letter by logging in to your myCalPERS account, or you may complete and mail a Retirement Allowance Estimate Request (PERS-BSD-470) (PDF).
  • You’re limited to two CalPERS-generated estimate requests within a 12-month period.
  • We use your current payroll postings, and we review the estimate letter before you receive it to ensure the retirement calculation is correct. We do not project salary increases, special compensation, or anticipated service credit purchases.
  • Your final benefit may vary slightly since it will be calculated from exact data up to your retirement date.

For more retirement information and resources, visit the Service & Disability Retirement page on our website.