Pension Timeline


This is your timeline of pension milestones.

Hire Date

1st Day of  Work

The first day of work in your full time, retirement-eligible position.

You may have started out working part time or in another working status that is ineligible for membership, but your date of hire regarding ACERA is when you started your full time, retirement-eligible position.

Entry Date

1st Day of 2nd Pay Period

Your first day of ACERA membership is the first day of your second full time pay period in your retirement-eligible position.

Vesting Date

5 Years of Service Credit

Once you earn 5 years of service credit (including reciprocal service credit), you’re vested in the retirement system and have earned the right to receive the vested (guaranteed) benefits in retirement. Some types of service credit purchases count toward meeting the 5-year requirement.

Retirement Eligibility

You may retire when you meet one of these eligibility requirements.

Tiers 1, 2, and 3

Eligibility Option 1
  • Age: 50
  • Service Credit: 5 yrs*
  • Membership: 10 yrs
Eligibility Option 2
  • Age: Any
  • Service Credit:
    • 30 yrs (General)
    • 20 yrs (Safety)
Eligibility Option 3
  • Age: 70
  • Service Credit: Any amount

Tier 4

Eligibility Option 1
  • Age:
    • 52 (General)
    • 50 (Safety)
  • Service Credit: 5 yrs
Eligibility Option 2
  • Age: 70
  • Service Credit: Any amount


Eligibility For Disability Retirement

Eligibility for disability retirement differs from the regular (service) retirement.


* Under Option 1 for tiers 1, 2, and 3, if you retire with less than 10 years of service credit, ACERA will be unable to convert your sick leave to service credit because you must spend at least 1 day in deferred status.

Under Option 2 for tiers 1, 2, and 3, you can only retire with 20 years service credit if your final employment is as a safety member.

Under Option 1 for tier 4, you can only retire at age 50 if your final employment is as a safety member.

Healthcare Subsidy Eligibility

10 Years

Currently, eligibility for retiree healthcare subsidies begins at 10 years of ACERA service credit (reciprocal service is not included).

Employment Termination Date

Date You Leave Work

Your last day in active payroll status. If you’re going straight into retirement, this will be the day before your Retirement Date. If not, you can defer your retirement to a later date while maintaining your membership.

Retirement Date

Date You Choose

Your first day of retirement. We owe you pension benefits as of this day.


Date of Your Death

You’ll receive your pension allowance payments until the day you die.

Survivor’s Death

Day Your Beneficiary Dies

If you name a qualified beneficiary for a continuing payment (continuance), upon your death your beneficiary will receive allowance payments for the rest of their life.