Changing Your Name
Active and Deferred Members
If your current name doesn’t match your birth certificate, you must provide proof of name change before you can retire. This also includes your spouse or state-registered domestic partner.
We understand that in California, you have the common law right to change your name by the “usage method.” This means that you simply pick a new name and start using it consistently in all parts of your life (but this method cannot be used by people who are in state prison, on probation, on parole, or been a convicted sex offender, or to change a minor’s name).
However, due to the fight against identity theft, fraud and terrorism, changing ones name by the “use method” is highly scrutinized. Therefore, our member or his or her spouse or state-registered domestic partner has to comply with our requirements to show official name change.
Active members should also officially change their name with the employer (Human Resources department) so that it can be reflected in our pension database whenever your employer transmits data to us.
Provide as many of the following documents as you can provide:
- Proof of amended birth certificate.
- Driver’s license and/ or passport with current name.
- Proof of time of name change (such as school records with original and new names; professional license with original name; driver’s license with original name; passport with original name; social security card with original name; baptismal records, etc.)
How to Provide Documents
Mail copies of the documents to ACERA:
Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Association
475 14th Street, Suite 1000
Oakland, California 94612-1916
If you work for Alameda County or one of our employers that uses the QIC code system, feel free to send us documents via QIC.
Don’t Email Documents
Please refrain from emailing documents to ACERA as your personal documents contain personally identifying information and email is not the most secure way to transmit this information.
If you move to a new residence, temporarily relocate, or change your mailing address, ACERA will need your new address and contact information. The same goes if your phone numbers change. You should take the following steps, based on your membership status as an active, deferred or retired member.
Update your address with your employer. Your employer is responsible for providing ACERA with updated information each pay period, including your current address.
Retired Members and Others Receiving Monthly Payments (Payees)
If you move outside of California, you should cancel your withholding designations for California state income tax. ACERA cannot withhold your tax deductions for other states. To change your withholding, complete and return the for the state of California to ACERA. Complete the form with an effective date in advance if possible, or, as soon as you have your new address information.
Send completed forms to ACERA’s mailing address in the blue footer at the bottom of the page.
A Note About Foreign Addresses
If you are considering a move outside of the United States and want to avoid the possibility of 30% taxation on your pension, you must make sure you have the following documents on file with ACERA:
- U.S. Certified Birth Certificate, verifying you were born in the United States, or submit a W-9 Form (available through the ACERA website, www.acera.org, or by request from ACERA Member Services)
- Current U.S. Passport (stating U.S. Citizenship)
- If you are a non-Resident Alien, a copy of your green card
A non-U.S. citizen or non-Resident Alien who will be residing at a non-U.S. address is subject to mandatory federal tax withholding from a U.S. income source at the rate of 30%. The IRS requires these individuals to complete and return a W-8BEN Form to ACERA. For non-citizens and non-Resident Aliens, a reduced tax rate including a total tax exemption may apply if there is a tax treaty between the non- U.S. resident’s country and the United States.
If you establish a relationship with a new financial institution due to your move, be sure to update your direct deposit information with ACERA. To establish and/or change your financial institution, complete and return a to ACERA. The account must be in the payee’s name in order for ACERA to activate the direct deposit. Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) is not allowed for international transactions unless conducted from and to a U.S. owned bank.
Moving and Your Eligibility for ACERA Health Plan Coverage
Eligibility for enrollment in an ACERA-sponsored medical and dental plan is affected by where you live because some of ACERA’s plans require you to live in their specific service areas. This may limit your options if you and/or your dependents live in a rural area within California or in another state. If you move, check with your current plan’s member services to confirm whether you live within the appropriate service area.
If coverage is not offered through your current provider, it may be available through another ACERA provider. Contact ACERA or the plan providers directly to discuss your options. The plans’ member service contact numbers are listed on our Health Plan Contact Page and on the back cover of the ACERA Enrollment and Health Plan Brochure.
Once you determine there is an ACERA-sponsored plan available in your new area, contact ACERA Member Services to request the appropriate enrollment form(s). Forms must be completed and submitted in advance—or within 30 days—of the move to ensure no gaps in coverage.
If moving requires you to change medical plan providers, it could take up to a month to receive new ID cards. Be sure to fill your prescriptions and get doctors’ appointments out of the way before your move.
First 5 and Housing Authority: If you work for First 5 and Housing Authority of Alameda County, you can change your home phone number in ACERA’s database by changing your home phone number with your employer—it will get transmitted automatically to ACERA. If you want to change your mobile or work number with ACERA, send us a letter in writing with your signature asking for it to be changed.
Alameda County, AHS, LARPD, Superior Courts: For all other agencies including Alameda County, if you want to change your home, mobile, or work number with ACERA, send us a letter in writing with your signature asking for it to be changed.
As a deferred ACERA member, you’re no longer working for an ACERA participating employer but your’re not yet retired. If you want to change your home, mobile, or work number with ACERA, send us a letter in writing with your signature asking for it to be changed.
Retired Members and Beneficiaries
If you want to change your home, mobile, or work number with ACERA, send us a letter in writing with your signature asking for it to be changed.