A Pension Plan for Public Employees

Overview

A Pension Plan for Public Employees

The Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Association (ACERA) is the retirement pension plan for public employees in Alameda County, California who work for some of the county’s public employers. ACERA was established in 1948 by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to provide retirement, disability, and death benefits to Alameda County and member district employees.

The ACERA retirement plan provides lifetime benefits to members of the retirement system who meet the minimum age and length-of-service requirements or are eligible for disability retirement. The plan is a significant and fundamental part of the comprehensive benefits package that participating employers offer to eligible employees.

ACERA is governed by Federal and State laws including but not limited to the provisions of the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 (CERL), found in sections 31450–31898 of the California Government Code.

What We do

The ACERA organization works to provide members and participating employers with cost-effective benefits, to prudently manage investment of ACERA plan funds, and to provide superior service to our members.

The ACERA organization is committed to carrying out the ACERA mission through a competent, professional, impartial and open decision-making process. In providing benefits and services, all persons are treated fairly and with courtesy and respect. Investments are managed to balance the need for security with superior performance. We expect excellence in all activities.

History

ACERA was established by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors under Ordinance No. 446, dated October 21, 1947.  ACERA is a separate public entity governed by the provisions of the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937, Title 3, Division 4, Chapter 3, commencing with Section 31450 of the California Government Code and case law applicable to public employee pension plans.  On January 1, 1948, ACERA became operative to provide retirement, disability, and death benefits to the General and Safety members employed by Alameda County.

The retirement plan provides lifetime benefits to members of the retirement system who meet the minimum age and length-of-service requirements and is a significant and fundamental part of the comprehensive benefits package ACERA provides to eligible employees.

Current Services

Over the years, ACERA has expanded its member services to include employees of the Alameda County-based Superior Court of California and the five special districts of the County, as well as to administer retiree health care, dental care, vision care, and supplemental cost-of-living benefits.

The Plan

ACERA’s plan is a defined benefit pension plan, qualified under Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Funding of a defined benefit pension plan is based on a cost sharing principle through employee and employer contributions rates, which are determined annually upon recommendation by the plan’s actuary.  Therefore, retirement benefits are determined by a formula and not on an individual’s account balance.

Plan Administration

The ACERA Board of Retirement is responsible for establishing policies governing the administration of the retirement plan and managing the investments of the system’s assets. The Board has nine members and two alternate members. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors appoints four members and six are elected by ACERA’s membership. The County Treasurer is an ex-officio member.

The Board of Retirement oversees the Chief Executive Officer and staff in the performance of their duties in accordance with the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937, ACERA’s by-laws, and Board policies.

Mission

To provide ACERA members and employers with flexible, cost-effective, participant-oriented benefits through prudent investment management and superior member services.

Commitment (Board and Staff)

To carry out our Mission through a competent, professional, impartial and open decision making process. In providing benefits and services, all persons will be treated fairly and with courtesy and respect. Investments will be managed to balance the need for security with superior performance. We expect excellence in all activities. We will also be accountable and act in accordance with the law.

Goals

  1. To create an environment in which Board Members can maximize their performance as trustees
  2. To improve the level of benefits and delivery of services provided to members and employees
  3. To improve communications with members and employers
  4. To attract, develop and retain competent and professional staff
  5. To achieve and maintain top quartile investment performance as measured by the Public Fund Universe

Commands