This web page describes in more detail each section of the ACERA Member Statement you generated in Web Member Services.
Official plan documents govern your plan eligibility and benefits. Refer to Planning Your Retirement section for a more detailed description of your benefits. Benefits may be subject to change.
Current Membership and Employment Information
This statement section includes your name and important ACERA demographic information, including your current retirement membership status, plan identification, retirement membership entry and re-entry dates, your employer, salary information, and whether you have established reciprocity. Review this section carefully. If you notice any errors, complete and return the Active and Deferred Data Correction Form. If you are an active member, notify your employer if any changes are necessary to your date of birth, as this information is provided directly by your employer.
There are two types of ACERA members: General and Safety. Safety Members are employees working in active law enforcement, deferred firefighters, or positions that have been designated Safety positions by the Board of Retirement (e.g., Probation Officers or Group Counselors). All other job classifications fall under General membership.
There are four tiers of ACERA members.
Integrated (Int) vs. Non-Integrated (N/I)
Your statement will indicate whether you are an integrated member or a non-integrated member by printing either Int or N/I.
Most integrated members contribute to Social Security each pay-period and have a reduced rate on their retirement contribution and, upon retirement, their retirement allowance is slightly reduced.
Safety members and some long-time general members do not pay into Social Security and, therefore, make a full retirement contribution as non-integrated members of ACERA. In addition, members who work for employers that do not participate in Social Security are non-integrated and, upon retirement, do not receive the reduced benefit.
Active means you are currently employed by an ACERA Participating Employer in a retirement-eligible job classification.
Deferred means that you 1) no longer work in a retirement-eligible ACERA job classification, 2) are not actively making retirement contributions, and 3) have left your retirement contributions on account with ACERA. Your contributions will continue to earn interest as it is posted and you may be eligible to receive a retirement allowance upon reaching retirement eligibility.
Entry Date/Re-Entry Date
This is your most recent date of entry into the retirement system. For most people, the entry date and re-entry date are the same. However, if you terminated employment, withdrew contributions, and then subsequently re-entered membership, your adjusted entry date will be the most recent date you entered the retirement system.
Your age at your date of entry into the retirement system determines your employee contribution rate; the younger you are when you entered into the system, the lower your rate.
Although you may purchase days worked prior to your entry date, service purchases or redeposits of prior service do not change your entry/re-entry date into retirement membership. On the other hand, all service credit (whether earned during membership or outside of membership and later purchased) is considered when determining your retirement allowance.
Average Monthly Salary
The listed salary is an un-audited monthly average of salary as reported through your employer’s payroll file and is one of the factors used to compute your retirement allowance at the time of retirement. For Tier I and Tier III members, this is your monthly average for the last 12 months. For Tier II and Tier IV members, this is your monthly average for the last 36 months. Projected salary is not computed. If you have not been a member of ACERA for at least 36 months, an average salary of all your paychecks up to 1/21/12 is used for your average monthly salary. See Your Retirement Formula for an explanation of how ACERA computes your final average salary to calculate your monthly retirement allowance.
Reciprocity is the joining or linking of similarly administered retirement systems. If “yes” is indicated on page 1 of your statement, your retirement allowance is linked with another public agency, whose name appears on your statement.
This section breaks down your employee retirement contributions. The totals reflect the beginning balance from your last statement date contributions made during the statement period, plus any contributions made due to service purchase contracts completed in during the statement period. This section also includes interest credited to your account in the statement period, if applicable.
MTO and VTO
In prior years, Alameda County offered a Voluntary Time Off Program and also implemented a Mandatory Time Off Program due to budget deficits. If you were absent from work due to MTO or VTO, you earned service credit during these periods. In addition, the County paid retirement contributions on your behalf so that you would not lose benefits. However, these benefits are not refundable should you terminate employment and choose to withdraw your balance of contributions and interest.
For certain management employees and employees with certain bargaining units, your employer may pay a portion of your retirement contribution (stated as “Employer Offset/Pickup”). This amount is not refundable should you terminate employment and choose to withdraw your balance of contributions and interest.
If a negative adjustment shows on your account during 2011, you may contact ACERA for an explanation.
Deferred non-vested members may withdraw their contributions at any time after 30 days from termination of employment by contacting ACERA to withdraw account funds. If you have established reciprocity with another retirement system, you may not withdraw your funds unless you terminate employment and withdraw funds under that system.
The more years of service credit you have, the higher your retirement benefits. ACERA also uses service credit to determine when you may retire and receive benefits. This section of your statement provides the total years of service credit in your retirement account through the end of the statement period and any service purchases made (or contracts completed) by the end of that period.
Retirement service credit is not granted for breaks in service or positions held in nonretirement-eligible job classifications.
Note Regarding Your Date of Entry and Service Credit
As you review this information, you will likely find that your retirement service is different from your employment service. This is to be expected because retirement service credit is earned beginning the first day of the second pay period of employment in an ACERA-covered position (your date of entry/re-entry into the retirement system). In general, you earn one year of service credit for each year of full-time employment, provided you are working in a retirement-eligible position and are making retirement contributions.
Note Regarding Service Credit and the Monthly Medical Allowance
Retirees with 10 or more years of creditable ACERA service and those service-connected disability retirees who are enrolled in an ACERA-sponsored medical plan may receive a Monthly Medical Allowance (MMA) to offset the cost of retiree medical premium payments.
Your statement lists your last service audit date (if any). Your service credit is audited by an ACERA Retirement Specialist when you request a benefit estimate, service purchase/redeposit calculation, service audit, and at the time you retire. This audit is done to ensure that your service credit total is accurately recorded in our system.
Service Purchase Contracts
If you’ve purchased eligible time as ACERA Service Credit the statement will reflect that; service credit is granted only upon completion of the purchase contract.
Current Nominated Beneficiaries
ACERA asks you to designate your beneficiaries when you become an ACERA member. Your statement lists the primary and alternate beneficiaries you have designated to receive any payable death benefits in the event of your death. Review your beneficiary information carefully and, if you wish to make changes or corrections, use ONLY the Active/Deferred Member Beneficiary Designation Form which must be completed, signed, and returned to us.