Peace Officer and Firefighter Retirement
California Department of Human Resources (CalHR)
- Determines eligibility for POFF retirement benefits.
- Provides employees' agencies, SCO, and CalPERS with approved POFF positions.
- Reports eligible POFF positions to the Legislature on July 1 of each year.
- Conducts periodic audits of POFF positions to ensure the State complies with the law.
- Provides SCO with the accurate retirement category for employees.
- Asks CalHR to review positions for eligibility for POFF retirement.
- Helps determine the correct retirement category.
- Ensures employees receive retirement information.
State Controller's Office
- Processes retirement deductions by both employees and the employer.
- Provides CalPERS with a report listing the monthly retirement deduction and retirement category for all State employees.
- Notifies CalHR when departments ask to include CEA and Exempt positions in POFF retirement without CalHR's approval.
California Public Employees' Retirement System
- Calculates benefits for the Peace Officer and Firefighter (POFF) retirement categories.
- Asks the Federal Social Security Administration to remove affected employees from the Social Security program.
The government code sections listed below contain and describe the authority for POFF retirement.
CalHR determines which CEA and exempt positions may be eligible for POFF retirement benefits.
Government Code Sections
Requesting a new class with enhanced benefits
When you request a new peace officer class or change to the penal code, the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) conducts a feasibility study.
- proposed changes in the duties and responsibilities of people in the affected class,
- their field law enforcement duties and responsibilities,
- supervisory and management structure,
- training methods,
- funding, and
- the extent to which the job requires more peace officer powers and authority.
POST may charge you for the cost of the study.
POST will recommend to the legislature whether to add a new class.
CalHR's role in establishing the new class
Rank and File Positions
Submit a copy of the POST study to CalHR. (If you don't need a POST study to add or change a class, skip this step.)
CalHR's Peace Officer and Firefighter Retirement Coordinator determines if the new or changed class is eligible for enhanced benefits. CalHR's Retirement Coordinator can meet with representative of your department to discuss it.
If the new or changed class is eligible, CalHR's Retirement Coordinator documents the action taken. For example, the new class title, the bargaining unit, and the effective date. CalHR's Retirement Coordinator then notifies your agency, CalPERS, and SCO of the action.
Finally, affected incumbents are eligible for benefits, and their pay warrants will reflect correct deductions.
CEA and Exempt Positions
Submit a letter to CalHR with a duty statement and organization chart.
CalHR's Peace Officer and Firefighter Retirement Coordinator determines if the position is eligible for enhanced benefits.
Government Code Sections
In 2008, CalHR (then known as the Department of Personnel Administration) conducted an audit regarding the status of the State's Peace Officer/Firefighter (POFF) Retirement Plan in order to:
- Determine the number of Career Executive Assignment (CEA) and Exempt positions or individuals incorrectly placed in the POFF retirement plan.
- Determine the number of new POFF positions that may have been created due to the passage of Senate Bill 1496 that clarifies POFF retirement effective January 1, 2009.
- Develop a database that identifies accurate retirement categories for State CEA and Exempt positions that can be regularly updated and audited to ensure the state remains in compliance with the laws.
The following audit findings and recommendations are beneficial when making determinations. Although this audit report focuses on CEA and Exempt positions, it includes POFF retirement enrollment information for Excluded, Management and Supervisory positions.
Summary of Findings
This audit provides the most current POFF retirement issues, enrollments, and findings. The reports were provided to the individual agencies, State Controller's Office, and the California Public Employees' Retirement System. Sharing this audit report ensured all POFF retirement enrollments were in agreement.
The results of this audit indicated the State's POFF retirement plan was in good standing. A total of 1,035 CEA and Exempt positions were audited. There are currently 176 CEA and Exempt employees (83 positions) enrolled in POFF retirement. Out of 176 POFF enrollments, 10 employees (9 positions) were incorrectly placed in POFF retirement. These individuals remained under POFF retirement until they separate from their positions, at which time the positions will revert to the miscellaneous retirement category. There will be 2 new employees (2 positions) eligible for POFF retirement effective January 1, 2009.176 CEA and Exempt employees (83 positions) enrolled in POFF retirement. Out of 176 POFF enrollments, 10 employees (9 positions) are incorrectly placed in POFF retirement. These individuals will remain under POFF retirement until they separate from their positions, at which time the positions will revert to the miscellaneous retirement category. There were two new employees (2 positions) eligible for POFF retirement effective January 1, 2009.
Please note that these findings reflect the new provisions under Senate Bill 1496, signed by the Governor on September 27, 2008, which will be effective January 1, 2009. The number of employees incorrectly placed in POFF retirement is minimal. Also, the number of new positions created due to the passage of SB 1496 was minimal.
Now that we have identified the status of the State's POFF retirement enrollments, CalHR continues to work closely with SCO and CalPERS staff to ensure POFF retirement records continue to remain in good standing. Audits are conducted on a regular basis and documented.
Reports to the Legislature
As required by law, CalHR will continue to provide the Legislature with an annual report of newly approved POFF positions. The report must be provided by July 1 of each year.
Final Results in 2009
- Total Number of CEA & Exempt Employees: 1035
- CEA & Exempt Employees in POFF retirement: 176 employees (83 positions)
- Number of Employees to be Grandfathered: 10 employees (9 positions)
- Number of New Employees to be added w/new statue eff. 1/1/2009: 2 employees (2 positions)