Retirement Benefits

Trends in Retirement

Cropped shot of a happy senior couple using a laptop in their living room to look at their financial budgets

More members using myCalPERS to apply for retirement.

An increased number of members used myCalPERS to file for retirement in 2020 compared to previous years.

“Usage of our online system has allowed us to continue processing retirements extremely timely,” CalPERS Deputy Executive Officer, Customer Services & Support Anthony Suine said at the Stakeholder Forum. “Our most recent figures show 70% of retirement applications are submitted through the self-service portal, and this has nearly doubled the percentage prior to the pandemic.”

The uptick in electronic applications is on par with the increased reliance in digital tools and online resources. Whether it’s telehealth, banking or working remotely, the response to COVID-19 resulted in an inevitable surge in the use of digital technologies, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.

Because of COVID-19, our Regional Offices remain closed to in-person appointments until further notice. We’re implementing this step out of an abundance of caution to protect the health of our members and our Regional Office employees.

There are several tools members can use on our website and by logging into their myCalPERS accounts, however, to get the help they need and conduct business with us. And we’re committed to providing more online tools to help you.

“As nearly 40% of our membership populations is of retirement age, we have really made efforts to expand our self-service capabilities to serve our members near and post retirement,” Suine said. “Getting everything you need from a retirement estimate online is the gateway to taking advantage of all our other online retirement resources such as applying for retirement, beneficiary designations tax withholding changes, direct deposit changes, and receiving annual 1099 statements online.”

Total Retirements Flat in FY 2018-19, 2019-20

While the number of retirements fluctuated throughout 2020, overall, they remain flat from Fiscal Year 2018-19 to 2019-20. Between employers, however, there’s some variance.

School and public agency retirements decreased about 7% over the last year while state retirements increased approximately 15%.

When looking at new retirees who just retired in each fiscal year, we had 34,643 new retirements in FY 2018-19 while it barely ticked up in FY 2019-20 to 34,756.

Additional Resources For You

  • Visit our  Using myCalPERS page to learn how to register, recover your username and password, and find your CalPERS ID.
  • Visit our Service & Disability Retirement page on our website to get information on the retirement calculation formula, getting an estimate, and the steps to apply, to name a few.
  • Not sure what steps or actions you should take as you embark on your career? Our New CalPERS Member page has you covered.
  • Our Retirement Planning Checklist gives you a breakdown of what to consider as you near retirement.