Participating Employers

Alameda County and member districts that participate in ACERA’s pension plan are referred to as participating employers. Their employees who work in retirement-eligible positions are members of ACERA and earn retirement and other benefits. Participating employers provide employer retirement contributions to ACERA’s fund and provide the employee demographic and payroll data that allows ACERA to calculate retirement benefits and run the retirement system.


New Member Orientation

Guidelines for Employers Orienting New ACERA Members

As ACERA Participating Employers, your role in introducing new employees to the benefits of their pension fund is a crucial step in setting them on a path towards secure retirement. By providing clear guidance and materials from the outset, we can ensure that new employees understand the importance of planning for their future retirement and are empowered to make informed decisions. We appreciate your help in guiding new members towards ACERA’s educational materials that will help them on their journey to a secure and fulfilling retirement.


To Provide Before or On the First Day of Work

New Hire Flyer

This informative flyer should be provided to new employees either alongside pre-start communications or on their first day. It can be distributed electronically or in print format.


To Provide During New Employee Orientation

ACERA Orientation Video

During the orientation session, please present this concise 5-minute video to new employees. It serves as an introduction to the ACERA pension program.

ACERA Orientation Flyer

Ensure that each new employee receives a copy of the appropriate orientation flyer based on their job type. Safety Members are Sheriff’s Deputies and Probation Officers, while all other employees are General Members.


Employer Contribution Rates

Employer contribution rates are recommended annually by the ACERA’s actuary in its actuarial valuation and typically vary from year-to-year. Rates depend on the level of established benefits, rate of return on investments, and the cost of administering benefits.

Members do not benefit from employer contributions until retirement—these contributions are used, along with employee contributions, to fund member retirement benefits. Employer contributions are never refundable—if a member terminates employment and elects to receive a refund of employee retirement contributions, they will not receive employer contributions made on their behalf.

To learn about the rates employees pay, visit our employee contributions page.

Employer Contribution Rates

These are the average rates employers are paying between September 2023 and September 2024 compared with the previous year’s rates.

Membership Type and Tier 2022/2023 Average Rate 2023/2024 Average Rate Difference
County Only      
General Tier 1 24.75% 24.77% 0.02%
General Tier 2 23.20% 23.19% -0.01%
General Tier 4* 23.01% 23.10% 0.09%
Safety Tier 1 43.64% 42.29% -1.35%
Safety Tier 2 23.84% 25.53% 1.69%
Safety Tier 2C 29.18% 30.50% 1.32%
Safety Tier 2D 24.60% 26.37% 1.77%
Safety Tier 4* 21.44% 23.55% 2.11%
County Combined 23.11% 23.57% 0.46%
AHS, Courts, & First 5 Only      
General Tier 1 25.72% 25.80% 0.08%
General Tier 2 24.17% 24.22% 0.05%
General Tier 4* 23.98% 24.13% 0.15%
Housing Only      
General Tier 1 30.93% 30.95% 0.02%
General Tier 2 29.38% 29.37% -0.01%
General Tier 4* 29.19% 29.28% 0.09%
LARPD Only      
General Tier 1 10.97% 10.97% 0.00%
General Tier 3 16.41% 17.15% 0.74%
General Tier 4* 9.23% 9.30% 0.07%
All Categories Combined 23.39% 23.74% 0.35%

*Tier 4 rates are flat rates, not average rates, i.e., all Tier 4 members pay the same employee contribution rates.


For more information, refer to ACERA’s annual actuarial valuation


Pay Codes

Determine Whether Your Other Pay Codes Are Included in Your Pension Calculation

When members retire, Highest Average Monthly Salary is one of the factors in the pension formula used to calculate pension allowances. Besides gross base pay, some other pay codes—sometimes called footnotes—will be included in the salary calculation in the pension formula. The 2012 Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act (PEPRA) requires ACERA to analyze all types of pay to determine if they will be included in Highest Average Monthly Salary.

How To Use These Pay Code Lists

  1. Open the PDF pay code list for your employer.
  2. Find your pay code(s) by number or by name. (Press Ctrl+F to use the Find function to search for numbers or text.)
  3. Each pay code says yes or no whether it’s included in the Highest Average Monthly Salary calculation, based on your tier.

If you have questions about your pay codes/pay items/footnotes, please consult your employer’s payroll manager, as your employer is best positioned to determine whether any of the pay codes/pay items/footnotes apply to your compensation package.

Alameda County

Alameda Health System

First 5 Alameda County

Housing Authority of Alameda County

Livermore Area Recreation and Park District

Superior Court of California-County of Alameda


Participating Employers Handbook

As an ACERA Participating Employer, it’s important for you to understand your organization’s role in managing and administering retirement, death, survivor, and disability benefits for your eligible employees. The Participating Employers Handbook is your resource. It includes information on:

  • The ACERA organization
  • Description of the ACERA benefit plans
  • The responsibilities and the procedures to be followed by ACERA Participating Employers
  • The tools and resources available to help you fulfill your responsibilities as a Participating Employer

Please check the handbook first when you have questions, and do not hesitate to contact ACERA at 510-628-3000 with your inquiries.

Participating Employers Handbook

Biweekly Transmittal Form For Participating Employers

New Member Enrollment Questionnaire