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>> Welcome to the CalPERS webinar Retirement Planning Checklist.
>> We're going to discuss a list of things you should be taking care of as you get ready
>> Here's the agenda for today's webinar. We'll start with the things you want to do
about a year away from retirement and gradually work our way up to retirement and beyond.
We'll finish up with some tools and resources available to you and how to contact CalPERS.
As we go through today's presentation, we'll reference several of CalPERS forms and publications
that you may be interested in. So here's where you can go to find them: On our home page,
www.CalPERS.ca.gov, you'll find the Forms & Publications Center. Using the Forms & Publications
Center does not require a user name or password.
As long as we're on the subject of publications, one of the publications you want to review
as you prepare for your retirement is "Planning Your Service Retirement", which is our Publication
#1. It has a great deal of good information, including a checklist similar to what we'll
be reviewing here today.
As long as we're on the subject of checklists, there's a version of the checklist on the
website, in addition to the one in this publication.
>> Let's start with one year out from retirement. The service credit you earn is part of the
calculation for your retirement benefit. You want to make sure to review the most recent
account information in my|CalPERS to make sure that your service credit is accurate.
You can also find a link to your most recent annual member statement here.
If you're a year or more away from retirement, use the retirement estimate calculator in
your my|CalPERS account to estimate the amount of your pension and begin determining when
you want to retire. It's important to be prepared when you decided to take such a big step.
To get the answers to most of your questions, the "Planning Your Retirement" class is a
great one to take if you're a year or even further from your retirement. Sign in to my|CalPERS
and select the Education Resource tab to enroll.
If you think you may be eligible to purchase service credit for employment not shown in
your account, you should review "A Guide To Your CalPERS Service Credit Purchase Options"
for eligibility information. Use the service credit cost estimator at CalPERS On-line to
estimate the cost of the purchase.
The request forms for certain types of service credit can only be found in the Results page
for the online estimator.
You must submit your request to purchase service credit before your retirement date to be eligible
to purchase that time.
In addition, you should contact the Social Security Administration for information on
benefits you may be eligible for under their system and, of course, Medicare eligibility.
You might want to contact a financial planner for assistance with coordinating your CalPERS
benefits with your overall retirement planning. Please remember CalPERS does not provide financial
If you have a community property claim on your retirement account because of a legal
separation or divorce, you must provide CalPERS a copy of an acceptable court order that resolves
the claim. It's important to understand that retirement benefits cannot be paid until your
community property issue is resolved. You can find more information on what is required
in the publication, "A Guide to CalPERS Community Property."
>> Next is nine months prior to retirement. If you're also a member of another California
retirement system other than CalPERS, there are steps you need to take to ensure that
you receive all of the benefits you've earned from each system.
Reciprocity refers to an agreement between CalPERS and many other California public retirement
systems that allows members to move from one retirement system to another within a specified
time limit and possibly retain some valuable benefit rights, such as you highest average
pay in the calculation of your retirement. Read our publication "When You Change Retirement
Systems" for more information.
If you have Social Security or other non-CalPERS benefits coming later after retirement, you
might want to temporarily increase your monthly CalPERS income until those benefits begin.
See if temporary annuity is right for you by reading our "Temporary Annuity" publication.
>> Moving on to six months. If you have not already done so, it's time to think about
obtaining a CalPERS generated estimated by completing the "Retirement Allowance Estimate
Request" form and mailing it to the address on the form. If you have special compensation
reported to us, it may not all be included because CalPERS can only project out your
average base pay.
You determine how you want your taxes withheld. You should check with your tax consultant
or attorney to find out about the taxability of your overall retirement income. You can
also find more information from the Internal Revenue Service, IRS, and the California Franchise
Tax Board representatives. If you plan on moving out of state, you are not required
to pay California State taxes; however, you should check with the state that you're moving
to to find out what taxes that they require. CalPERS representatives cannot offer tax advice.
>> Next on our list is four to five months from retirement. You want to become familiar
with the information needed to apply for retirement in the publication "A Guide to Completing
Your CalPERS Service Retirement Election Application."
Begin to gather and make copies of the required documents you'll need, such as marriage licenses
or a birth certificate for a lifetime beneficiary. Remember, only send CalPERS copies of these
documents; never send the originals. Always include your social security number or CalPERS
ID on every document you submit. Refer to the retirement publication for a complete
list of required documents. If you apply for retirement online, you'll be able to directly
upload your documents into the system.
Although an appointment isn't required, if after taking the "Planning Your Retirement"
class, you have specific questions about your own situation that weren't answered during
the class, you can come see us. You can schedule an appointment by logging into my|CalPERS.
You find the Schedule & Appointment link under the Education Resources tab.
>> Now, we're three to four months prior to your retirement. Make sure to complete your
retirement application form. Even if you plan to apply online, you can use the application
forms to collect all of the important information that you'll need.
If you plan on submitting the retirement application form by mail or in person at one of our regional
offices, you'll also want to complete the "Direct Deposit Authorization" form to ensure
that your monthly benefit payments are securely deposited into your financial institution.
This form is also contained in the "Retirement Application" publication.
>> And now we're at three months. Three months prior to retiring is the time you want to
actually submit your application. A great new feature in my|CalPERS is that you can
now apply for retirement online through you're my|CalPERS account. It's important to remember
that we cannot accept your application, either online or in physical form, until you're within
three months of your retirement date.
Send you completed notarized "Service Retirement Election Application" form and any other applicable
forms to CalPERS at the address shown on the bottom of the forms. Be sure you keep a copy
of all forms and supporting documents for your records and future reference. Apply timely.
Any delay in submitting your application could result in a delay of your first retirement
If you have a deferred compensation plan, such as a 401K or a 457 Plan, check with your
Plan Administrator regarding distribution of your funds. Contact your Health Benefits
officer or Personnel Office to determine your eligibility for continuation of health, dental
or vision coverage into retirement.
Look into whether any optional deductions coming out of your active paycheck can continue
into retirement, such as retiree association fees, car payments, charitable contributions,
things of this nature. You'll need to contact the organization receiving your payments to
set these up.
After you submit your retirement application, CalPERS will send you a confirmation letter
within 5 to 10 business days. Prior to your first full retirement check, you'll receive
a letter providing you with the date of your first retirement check, the amount you'll
receive and tax information. If you have CalPERS health coverage, the letter will also have
information regarding these benefits. You should keep this letter, along with other
CalPERS information you may have with your other important financial papers.
>> So the next question is what happens after you retire? If you applied timely, in most
cases, you should receive your first retirement check around the first part of the month following
your retirement date. If you did not retire on the first of the month, your check will
cover the period from your retirement date to the end of the month. After that, your
check is mailed or direct deposited right around the first of the month. You can find
a list of mailing and direct deposit dates at CalPERS On-line.
The amount of your retirement check will reflect the payroll and service credit information
posted to your account at the time you're retirement benefit was calculated. Once your
employer reports all final payroll information, you may receive an adjustment to your retirement
check that is retroactive to your retirement date. Please allow six months for all final
payroll to be processed and adjustments to be made.
>> So let's go over some tools and resources CalPERS members have available to them. One
of the greatest resources we offer is CalPERS On-line at www.CalPERS.ca.gov. Most services
available do not require a username or password. You can use the service credit cost estimator
to get an estimate of the cost for several different types of service credit purchases.
The retirement estimate calculator allows you to calculate your retirement allowance.
If you use the version in my|CalPERS, which we will cover in a few moments, it can pre-populate
some of the information for you.
Additional tools for those with CalPERS health benefits are the Health Plan Chooser and the
Health Plan Search by Zip Code tools.
And you can find additional information through the CalPERS Forms & Publications Center.
Other resources include the "PERSpective Newsletter", which is available to all CalPERS members
three times a year, which can be viewed online and provides valuable CalPERS information
and updates. You can sign up for the various email subscriptions we offer. The Press Alerts
notifies you when CalPERS issues a press release.
"CalPERS News" is an informational newsletter that's sent out twice a month. "Employer News"
provides information and events updates related to employers. And keep an eye out for the
"New Member Education Bulletin", which will provide information related to upcoming webinars,
instructor-led classes and other educational offerings.
My|CalPERS is your gateway to conducting business electronically with CalPERS through a safe
and secure environment. We encourage you to use this tool to access real-time details
of your CalPERS accounts. The subjects are related to retirement, health if you have
health benefits through CalPERS, education, your profile and contacting us through the
When you first log into my|CalPERS, you'll come to the home page. On the home page, you'll
find the CalPERS Account Summary, which provides you with the information on your accounts
total balance, total service credit as of the most recent payroll reported by your employer.
You may also access your most recent "Annual Member Statements" from here.
Next, we have the Retirement tab. This is where you'll find the retirement summary that
includes a breakdown of your contributions, plus interest, your membership status and
your retirement formula. At some point, you may need to request a letter to verify your
account balance. You can now print this document automatically and you can even address it
to an outside organization, such as a landlord or mortgage company.
If you select the Statements link, you'll have access to past Annual Member Statements"
or, once retired, your check statements. You'll also find the Retirement Estimate Calculator
link here, which pre-populates with your most current information and you can save them
for review at a later date. When you're ready, you can now apply for retirement directly
Next is the Health tab. For those of you who have CalPERS health benefits, the Health Plan
Summary page provides information about your medical plan, the coverage type, when you
were enrolled and your premium. At the bottom, you'll find your subscriber information, as
well as a list of any dependents you have enrolled on your plan. If you don't have your
health benefits through CalPERS, this page will not show.
Education Resources is up next. Under this tab, you'll find our Resource Center. Here
you can take classes online or enroll in an instructor-led class, held by our regional
offices located throughout the state. You may also schedule an appointment, access the
Publication Center to order various forms and publications and download the latest "PERSpective
Newsletter." On the right, you can access CalPERS videos about retirement planning and
Under the Profile tab, we house your contact information. This is where you'll be able
to review and update your address, email and phone numbers. You can change your password
and let us know your mailing preferences. If you're an active employee, you'll still
need to update this information with your employer as well.
And this brings us to our last tab, which is the Message Center. In the Message Center,
you can submit an inquiry to CalPERS. Because your request comes from a secured source behind
your username and password, in most cases, we will be able to provide a more personalized
response. When we answer your inquiry, you'll be notified by email that you have a message
waiting in my|CalPERS. Simply log in to view the answer.
Along with the CalPERS On-line and my|CalPERS, a great way of keeping up with the latest
information is with the use of social networking. You can now follow us on Twitter and like
us at Facebook.
You can also find great informational videos by going to the Video Center on our website.
All of our video content is published to the CalPERS YouTube channel. On YouTube, you can
subscribe to our videos, share them and embed them in your own sites.
>> We already mentioned one of the best ways to contact CalPERS, which is using the Message
Center in my|CalPERS. Now we'll review some additional ways to contact us.
If you have a general question, you can send it through CalPERS On-line. You find this
service through the Contact Us link in the upper right corner of our website. It's important
to remember that with this method, we can only provide general information. We cannot
provide detailed account information.
You can contact CalPERS by mail. When corresponding with CalPERS by mail, you should include your
CalPERS ID or Social Security number. Keep in mind that the average response time is
approximately 30 to 60 days. In some inquiries, which require additional research may take
You can call CalPERS at 888-CalPERS, that's 888-225-7377. For 24-hour service, you can
try the CalPERS automated phone system. Most questions can be answered in a few simple
steps. Our CalPERS representatives are available from 8:00-5:00 Monday through Friday and in
most cases, they can assist you in a single call. The busiest times to call CalPERS are
the first of the month, Mondays and the day after a holiday. And we now offer a callback
feature so that you can avoid waiting on hold.
Finally, you can visit a regional office. We have eight regional offices located throughout
the state, where staff will assist you with a variety of services and educational events.
We do have walk-in appointments available, but you may have a long wait. To help minimize
your wait time, you can pre-schedule an appointment through my|CalPERS.
Appointments can fill up over a month in advance, so it's important to plan ahead. Before visiting
our offices, we have some suggestions to help you get the most out of your time with us.
Take CalPERS classes and check out our online retirement planning tools, read and complete
any necessary forms or applications to the best of your ability and bring any supporting
documents if needed. Most importantly, write down a list of any specific questions that
you may have.
Our presentation today was intended to give you a basic knowledge of the steps you'll
need to prepare prior to retiring. We hope this information has been beneficial to you.
Before you sign off today, we have a short survey we'd like you to complete. Please answer
all of the questions, as it is important for us to get feedback to help us improve these
Thank you for taking time out of your day to attend this webinar and have a great day.