Human Resources Service Center

Retiring from the CSU

Congratulations on your decision to retire and thank you for your years of service! We hope that you will find the following information helpful.

Employees are eligible to retire and receive a pension when they have 5 years of CalPERS-credited service and when they reach minimum retirement age of 50, or for those hired after 1/1/13, age 52.

You will be separating from the CSU and retiring from CalPERS. As a separating employee, you will need to go through the separation process. For more information about the separation process and your responsibilities, go to the Separating Employee Responsibility web page or contact Employment Services(opens in new window) at 530-898-4664.

You may wish to review the Retirement Planning Checklist(opens in new window). Individual appointments may be made with a CalPERS retirement specialist at the Sacramento Regional Office by calling 888-225-7377. Although an appointment may be made, it is not required. Several times throughout the year a CalPERS retirement specialist visits the Chico campus. To inquire about the schedule contact the Benefits Office at 530-898-5436.

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  • Retirement Timeline Process
  • Selecting a Retirement date

    The earliest possible retirement date is the day following an employee’s last day on pay status. Retirement may be effective any day of the week; if an employee separates on Friday, retirement may be effective on Saturday.

    If an academic year employee receives their paychecks spread out over twelve months and retires immediately following the end of the academic year (6/1), instead of when their paychecks normally run out (9/1), they will start collecting their retirement pay earlier and will receive the pay earned during the academic year as a settlement check sometime in June.

    Academic employees should determine which date is more advantageous, 6/1 or 9/1. For some, it might be better to remain on payroll through the summer months due to a various factors such as additional service credit or attaining a birthday quarter. Other employees will benefit more from collecting retirement pay during the summer.

    If an employee is planning to retire at the end of the year or at the beginning of the next year, they should consider the cost of living (COLA) adjustment. The COLA is applied to the retirement allowance on May 1 of the second calendar year following retirement. For example:

    COLA Increases
    If your retirement date is...Then you become eligible for COLA on ...
    December 31, 2018May 1, 2020
    January 1, 2019May 1, 2021
  • Sick Leave Balance

    Any unused sick leave is converted to additional service credit if the employee retires within 120 days of separation. Eight hours of sick leave equals one day (.004 of a year of service). It takes 250 days of sick leave to receive one year of service credit. For example: An employee with 180 days of sick leave would have .72 years of service credit (.004 x 180).

    Your initial pension checks will not include the sick leave calculation. It may take CalPERS up to 90 days to process and for the adjustment to be included on your pension check.

  • Health Benefits in Retirement

    CSU post-retirement medical and dental benefits are available to employees (and their eligible dependents) who retire within 120 days of separation from employment. If you retire less than 30 days after your separation, your medical coverage will continue automatically. Contact the Benefits Office if retiring between 30 and 120 days of separation.

    You will be eligible for a CalPERS-administered health plan as a retiree if you meet all the following criteria:

    • You are eligible for health coverage upon separation of employment.
    • You retire from an employer (and bargaining group, if applicable) that contracts for health benefits through CalPERS.
    • You receive a monthly CalPERS retirement allowance.
    • You retire within 120 days of the date of your separation from employment.

    The cost of medical coverage will depend on several factors. If you are under the age of 65, you will continue on the same plan that you had as an active employee and you will pay the same premium. If you are over 65 or your spouse is over 65, you will work with the Social Security Administration for enrollment in Medicare and with CalPERS to enroll in a Medicare supplement plan.

    PLEASE NOTE: Faculty (Unit 3) employees hired by the CSU and who become members of CalPERS on or after July 1, 2017, must have 10 years of service credit with CalPERS to be eligible to enroll in CalPERS Retiree Medical Benefits and CSU Retiree Dental Benefits. Also, a new retiree health and dental 10-year vesting period will go into effect for employees hired by the CSU and who become new CalPERS members on or after July 1, 2018.

    If you are enrolled in the Enhanced DeltaCare HMO or Delta Dental plans, your coverage as a retiree will change to the Basic level. Currently the CSU pays the full cost of the Basic level dental coverage for eligible retirees and their eligible dependents.

    Retirees may enroll in the CSU Retiree Voluntary Vision Plan within 60 days of retirement. The monthly premium is fully paid by the retiree and is deducted from their warrant issued by CalPERS. You may also choose to enroll in the VSP Premier plan, which allows for additional benefits, however the premium costs are slightly higher than the VSP Basic plan. To compare the two plans, please review the VSP Summary Plans for retirees (PDF).

    Information on the changes to your dental plan and enrolling in the vision plan will be sent to you by the Benefits Office shortly after your retirement date.

  • Vacation Balance

    When you leave employment, you have the option to request tax deferral of your lump sum vacation payout to your current 401(k), 457 or 403(b) account(s). You are eligible to transfer up to the maximum contribution limit to each account, minus the amount you have already contributed for the plan.

    If your separation date is on or after November 1, you have the option to make the transfer for the current and following tax year, up to the maximum annual contribution limits.

    Individuals considering this option should contact the Payroll Manager, Alison Christensen at alchristensen@csuchico.edu prior to separation. Generally, this option must be exercised at least 30 days prior to separation from the University.

  • Social Security and Medicare

    CalPERS is coordinated with Social Security which means that you are eligible for benefits from the retirement system as well as Social Security benefits (with the exception of Unit 8 employees who contribute under the 1959 Survivor Benefit Program). The Medicare tax is mandatory.

    Because of the coordination of CalPERS and Social Security, your final compensation rate will be reduced by $133.33 to compensate for the fact that contributions are not made on the full amount of earnings. This is a one-time adjustment used in your retirement calculation, it is NOT a monthly reduction to your retirement allowance.

    More information can be found at Social Security & Medicare(opens in new window) web page.

  • Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP)

    Faculty members who are interested in the FERP program should review the Office of Academic Personnel FERP Fact Sheet (PDF) and complete the Notification of Intent to FERP (PDF).

    Service retirement must begin concurrently with, or prior to, the beginning of the campus academic year in which FERP participation will begin. The faculty member must initiate the service retirement process no more than 90 days before retirement date.

    Additional information can be found at Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP) web page.

  • Address Update

    Visit the Human Resources Service Center, Kendall Hall 220 to ensure your address is up-to-date. Health insurance documents as well as your annual W-2 statement will be sent to the address on record. If you have any questions, the Service Center can be reached at 530-898-6771.

  • Retirement Perks

    Depending upon your status, as a retiree of CSU, Chico you may be eligible for some campus services that are provided to our active employees. The Benefits Office does not administer these services and they are subject to change at any time. Please visit the links below for additional information.

    Wildcat Card

    Same as active employees, the Wildcat Card can be used at the Wildcat Store, sporting events and CSU Chico Library.

    • Retired Staff
    • Retired Faculty
    • Emeritus Faculty

    B-Line Butte Regional Transit

    Same as active employees, B-Line Butte Regional Transit(opens in new window) can be used with your Wildcat Card for free or discounted rides.

    • Retired Staff
    • Retired Faculty
    • Emeritus Faculty

    Parking

    CSU, Chico Parking permit is provided to retiree.

    • Emeritus Faculty only
  • Retirement FAQs