New Member Checklist

Your employer will provide you with an ACERA Member Enrollment Questionnaire. The questionnaire provides ACERA with pertinent personal information such as your birth date, position, department, and prior public service information. It also allows you to nominate a beneficiary for plan benefits. Complete and return this form to your payroll clerk or Human Resources (HR) department within your first two weeks of employment. You will also need to provide evidence of your birth date, such as your birth certificate, passport, or other documentation required by ACERA for verification. Your employer’s HR department may submit documentation of your birth date to ACERA with your completed questionnaire.

Employee contribution amounts are based on age at entry for Tiers 1, 2 and 3. The older you are at entry into ACERA membership, the higher your contribution. Therefore, providing ACERA with your correct birth date is critical. ACERA must have birth date verification prior to retirement benefit commencement. If your birth date is incorrect at enrollment and the error is not discovered until retirement, an account adjustment is required. You may owe additional contributions plus interest if you under-contributed during the course of your membership. Alternatively, if you over-contributed, a refund of the overpayment will be made. Adjustments like these can take time and delay the processing of your retirement benefit.

Contribution rates for Tier 4 members are not based on age at entry.

New Member Checklist

Here are some simple steps you should take to make sure you are up to date on your ACERA benefits and ensure your ACERA membership account is always correct.

  • Complete your ACERA member Enrollment Questionnaire and return it to your employing department payroll clerk or human resources department as soon as possible. This form provides ACERA with important personal information, begins the process of establishing reciprocity (if you have worked for another eligible public agency), and allows you to designate your plan beneficiary(ies).
  • Declare your intent to purchase certain kinds of service credit within one year of your date of hire.
  • Keep your address information up to date with your employer. To ensure that you receive important information from ACERA, keep your home address current with your employer at all times. ACERA member accounts are updated each pay period with data provided by your employer, including your current address.
  • Keep your beneficiary information up to date with ACERA. If you have a life change, such as marriage, divorce, or the birth/adoption of a child, review your beneficiary designations. You may update your beneficiary designation by submitting a completed ACERA Active or Deferred member Beneficiary Designation Form to ACERA.
  • Read ACERA newsletters and annual financial reports. The best way to optimize the benefits available to you is to understand how they work. We suggest that you read all materials you receive about your ACERA benefits. Refer to Section 6 of this handbook for more information about ACERA publications.
  • Review ACERA’s Web Member Services. Web Member Services is a web app designed to provide you a broad range of important ACERA information, such as your annual contributions, interest credited to your account, service credit earned, and your beneficiary designations. Alternatively, you may request a member statement from ACERA member Services.
  • More Questions? Contact us if you have questions.