Benefit is based on employees first hire date and CalPERS membership date.
The authority for determining if a class or position is eligible for the state safety retirement category is contained in CalHR law Government Code sections 19816.20 and 19816.21 and in CalPERS law, Government Code sections 20405 and 20405.1. CalPERS law also lists various classes specifically granted state safety retirement as specified in Government Code sections 20399-20416.
In order to be eligible for state safety benefits, an employee in the class or position under consideration must meet all of the following criteria:
1. The employee must have ongoing responsibility for:
a. The protection and safeguarding of public and property; and b. The control or supervision of incarcerated individuals, or regular and substantial contact with incarcerated individuals;
2. The employee must, as a condition of employment, be required to and capable of responding to emergency situations;
3. The employee must provide a level of service to the public such that the safety of the public and of property is not jeopardized;
4. The employee’s job specification and signed duty statement must clearly outline the requirement that the employee has ongoing responsibility for the items listed in item #1, above;
5. The employee’s job duties must be such that earlier retirement age is necessary to ensure the employee is capable of performing protective duties;
6. The class or position is consistent with classes that have previously been determined by CalHR to meet the criteria outlined in this guide.
The following definitions apply to the above criteria:
Employees in classes or positions shall not be granted state safety benefits if they have ongoing responsibilities for the any of the following:
1. Reviewing the state safety membership criteria to determine if the class or position meets the requirements.
2. If the class meets the state safety criteria, complete the “Retirement Designation Request” form and attach the supporting documents listed on the form as one package.
3. You have the option to submit the package as follows:
4. Denial: If the class or position doesn’t meet state safety criteria, CalHR will send a written denial notice to the department.
5. Approval: If CalHR staff determines the class or position meets the state safety criteria, CalHR will send a written notice to the department, SCO, and CalPERS to designate the class as state safety.
6. CalPERS then designates the class and moves the employees into the state safety retirement category. CalPERS notifies SCO to establish the class(es) as safety retirement in the transaction audit tables and sends a confirmation to the department’s personnel officer and CalHR. The department may then key in the class transactions without generating errors from SCO and CalPERS databases.
7. CalPERS sends an election letter to each employee giving them a one-time option to retain their current retirement formula or switch to the safety formula. All future employees that are hired into the class will then be automatically placed into the state safety retirement formula.
Note: Departments are not authorized to provide state safety designation for a class or position without CalHR approval.
1. Determine the number of classes and individuals placed in the safety retirement plan.
2. Identify any incorrect enrollments to ensure impacted employees are not disadvantaged at retirement.
Desi Rodrigues, CalHR Benefits Division,