New to ACERA?


Your pension plan is working for you while you’re working for the residents of Alameda County.

Your eligible position with Alameda County or one of our other participating employers grants you automatic membership in ACERA. As a member, you’re part of a program designed to help you achieve a secure future, earning retirement benefits you can count on.


Your pension is unique and highly valuable.

When you retire from ACERA, you receive monthly payments for the rest of your life. Because ACERA’s pension plan is well managed and financially strong, your benefits will be there as long as you need them. We also offer survivor protection and access to retiree health care coverage.


A pension plan has some key advantages.

Your pension will last for your lifetime, no matter how long you live. This means you don’t have to worry about running out of money in retirement.

And because your pension is professionally invested, you don’t have to make complex investment decisions.


How does it work?

Your pension benefit is funded by your contributions, your employer’s contributions, and investment earnings.

The amount of your monthly payments depends on your years of service under ACERA employers, your average salary, and your age at retirement. Generally speaking, as long as you work for a participating employer, your years of service keep adding up and your pension benefits keep growing.

Combined with Social Security and your personal savings, there’s a great chance you will be ready for retirement on your terms…. when you want to retire.


How much will your pension be in retirement?

For a general idea of what percentage of your working salary your pension will replace in retirement, first find your tier, and then click the button below for your tier. (Almost all new employees will be in Tier 4.) Find where your years of service credit and age at retirement will intersect on the income replacement table to learn what percentage of your working salary you can look forward to in retirement.

General Members
Tier 1 Tier 2A Tier 3 Tier 4

Safety Members
Tiers 1 & 2B Tier 2C Tier 2D Tier 4


How much does it cost?

You will pay a percentage of each paycheck into the retirement fund. Contributions are mandatory, and you can’t pay more or less than your required contribution. Click for your employee contribution rate.  
Contribution Rates


What happens if you leave before retirement?

If you stop working for a participating employer and are vested (you’ve earned 5 full time years of service credit), you still get pension benefits at your eligible retirement age if you leave your account balance with ACERA.

If you terminate employment with your ACERA participating employer, you are eligible to withdraw your employee pension contributions, including interest. However, you will forfeit any future pension benefits, and you may owe taxes and penalties. More options here.


What do you have to do to start benefitting from your pension?

Although you are automatically enrolled in ACERA’s pension plan by your employer, there are a few very simple steps for you to take to enhance the value of your pension benefit.

Do Now

  • Establish your online pension account. Your account will allow you to keep track of the service credit that you’re earning, your contributions to the retirement system, and the beneficiaries you’ve named, plus you can get estimates on your future retirement payments. Establish your account here.
  • Complete your ACERA member enrollment questionnaire. Your employer probably already required you to turn this in at your orientation. If not, complete it and return it to your payroll clerk or human resources department as soon as possible.
  • Designate your beneficiary, the person who will receive your ACERA death benefits. If you just started, you probably already did this on your member enrollment questionnaire. Update your beneficiary any time when your life changes with our designation form.

Do When You Have Time