|About | Investments | Benefits | Membership | News | FAQs | Downloads | Seminars | Contact|
Reciprocity is the "linking" or joining retirement membership between similarly administered public retirement systems in California. This type of membership allows employees who move between certain California retirement systems to preserve and enhance their total retirement benefits. Reciprocal membership establishes retirement benefits to members with benefits from two (2) or more retirement systems and defines the financial obligations of each system. You must establish reciprocity within six (6) months (180 days) of entering membership in ACERA from a qualifying member system or leaving ACERA to enter service with a qualifying member system, regardless of your length of County or Member District employment.
Qualifications for Reciprocity
To qualify for reciprocity membership all of the following conditions must be met:
Once you establish reciprocity, you cannot withdraw your contributions unless you completely terminate employment and withdraw your contributions from your latest system. In addition, when you get ready to retire, you must file separate applications with each "linked" retirement system and retire from all of them on the same day. Each retirement system will send you a separate retirement check for the service which you earned within the individual systems.
If you do not meet all 4 qualification for reciprocity, then reciprocity is broken and you may have to pay contributions to correct the contributions which were collected based on your age of entry (younger age) due to the assumption that reciprocity was established.
Benefits Of Establishing Reciprocity
Establishing reciprocity is beneficial in these ways:
Remember that the only way to establish reciprocity is if you apply for a deferred retirement and leave your retirement contributions in that retirement system. You cannot apply for a deferred or reciprocal status if you have withdrawn any contributions.
Agencies That Have Reciprocal Agreements With ACERA
ACERA has reciprocal agreements with many counties in California, with the State of California (CalPERS), and with many of California’s cities. ACERA is also reciprocal with some independent public agencies in California that have full reciprocity agreements with CalPERS. Below is a list of the counties, cities, and agencies that ACERA is reciprocal with.
County Systems (Retirement Law of 1937)
**ACERA has limited reciprocity
Other Systems/Independent public agencies in California:
Note: ACERA does not have a reciprocity agreement with the University of California Retirement System (UCRS), so previous employment withe UCRS does not qualify you for reciprocity (or service purchase).
For more information, see ACERA’s Reciprocity Brochure [PDF].
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):