Retirement Benefits

School Members: Join CalPERS? Join CalSTRS?

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If you’re a CalPERS member and take a position that is typically reported to the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), you may be eligible to elect to maintain membership under CalPERS with a Retirement System Election.

Retirement System Election

This election, also known as the ES372, allows school employees who are members of either CalPERS or CalSTRS to elect to retain coverage in their previous system (within 60 days from the hire date of the position) when taking a qualifying position in the other retirement system.

The intention of this election is to allow school members to stay and vest in one retirement system throughout their career, rather than having service in multiple systems. For example, if you’re in a classified position covered by CalPERS and accept a certificated position covered by CalSTRS, you may be eligible to either elect to join CalSTRS or to have the position reported to CalPERS.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to elect CalPERS for a CalSTRS-covered position, a school member must meet the following eligibility requirements (as described in Government Code section 20309):

    • Have five years of service in CalPERS (this can be any service in CalPERS—state, public agency, or school service)
  • OR

    Have prior CalPERS employment with a school employer, Board of Governors of the Community Colleges, or State Department of Education within 120 days from the hire date of the new position.

    • The position must mandatorily qualify for CalSTRS membership on date of hire.

Election eligibility can be complex. If you have questions regarding this election opportunity or the eligibility requirements, contact CalPERS at 888 CalPERS (or 888-225-7377).

Choosing Your Retirement System

For detailed information on the differences between CalPERS and CalSTRS membership, refer to the CalSTRS publication Join CalSTRS? Join CalPERS? (PDF).