Thank you for visiting the Retirement Section on the City of Long Beach's Human Resources website. Here you will find information about the retirement benefits offered by the City through CalPERS, how to calculate your pension, how to apply, and other useful information about the retirement system.
For information on the City's retirement process, refer to the City's "10 Steps to Retirement" employee communication. If you have any additional questions specific to the CalPERS retirement process, contact CalPERS at (888) 225-7377.
CalPERS (What Is CalPERS)
The City of Long Beach contracts with the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) to manage our pension benefits. CalPERS manages the pension and health benefits (the City does not contract with CalPERS to provide health care benefits) to more than 1.6 million public employees, retirees, and their families and more than 3,000 employers.
Click on the following links to access the PDF file of the City's various CalPERS Contract Provisions for Miscellaneous Members, Fire Safety Members, Police Safety Members and Lifeguard Safety Member.
Types Of Retirement
The City Offers Three Types Of Retirements: Service Retirement, Disability Retirement And Industrial Disability Retirement.
Service retirement is the general retirement from employment after a minimum period of five years of CalPERS-credited service and attainment of the minimum age requirement.
Disability retirement consists of a monthly retirement allowance paid to you for the rest of your life or until you recover from your disabling injury or illness. The cause of your disability need not be related to your employment. To qualify for disability retirement, you must be substantially incapacited from performing your job duties, based upon a physical or mental condition which is expected to be permanent or last indefinitely. There is no minimum age requirement; however, you must have at least five years of CalPERS-credited service.
Industrial Disability Retirement (Public Safety Only)
If your disability is the result of a job-related illness or injury, and you are a safety employee (police officer/firefighter/lifeguard), you may be entitled to an industrial disability retirement. If you retire, you will receive a monthly retirement payment for the rest of your life (or until you recover from your disabling injury or illness). There is no minimum age or service requirement for an industrial disability retirement.View PARS Online
The CalPERS Retirement Estimate Calculator can help you estimate your future retirement benefits. Since this is a planning tool, you may also add various retirement dates, salary information, and future employment information to see how these changes could impact your benefits. Use the Retirement Estimate Calculator with or without a password. If you have a password, the information from your latest CalPERS Annual Member Statement will be automatically added to the Calculator.
CalPERS has an agreement with many California public retirement systems, which allows you to move from one retirement system to the other without loss of benefits. This is called "reciprocity." These reciprocal agreements may allow you to coordinate your benefits between the retirement systems when you retire. Currently, you must leave and enter into employment with a reciprocal public agency within six months to be eligible. For more specific details, including a list of those agencies with reciprocity agreements with CalPERS, please visit the CalPERS page and download Publication 16. Please note there are currently no reciprocity agreements between CalPERS and the Los Angeles Police & Fire Pension (LAFPP).
For further information, review the CalPERS publication "When You Change Retirement Systems", contact CalPERS Member Services at (888) 225-7377 or schedule an appointment at a local CalPERS Regional Office.
Pre-Retirement Death Benefits
Categories - If you die before you retire, CalPERS provides several benefits for your family or the beneficiary(ies) named by you. For miscellaneous employees (non-safety), CalPERS divides pre-retirement death benefits into two categories: Not Eligible To Retire at the time of death, and Eligible to Retire. For safety employees (fire, police & lifeguards), CalPERS divides the pre-retirement death benefits into two categories: Not Job-Related Death and Job-Related Death.
Limited Death Benefit
To those who separate from CalPERS-covered employment: upon your death, your beneficiary will receive the limited death benefit (a refund of your contributions plus interest). No other benefit will be payable, except as provided by law under special circumstances. The limited death benefit will be paid in the following order: (1) your named beneficiary, or (2) spouse, or (3) children, or (4) parents, or (5) brothers and sisters, or (6) your estate if probated, (7) trust, or (8) next of kin, as provided by law.
Naming A Beneficiary
To designate a beneficiary, or update an earlier designation, you must fill out a CalPERS Beneficiary Designation (form 0772). This form is available on the CalPERS website under Publications. Certain death benefits allow you to name anyone you choose as a beneficiary. If you name a beneficiary and then (1) marry, (2) initiate an annulment, or dissolution of marriage, (3) have a child or adopt a child, (4) terminate your employment and receive a refund of your CalPERS contributions, your designation will, by law, be revoked.
Comparison Of Pre-Retirement Death Benefits
Post-Retirement Death Benefits
When you retire, you may choose to receive the unmodified allowance, or you can take a reduction to your allowance based on the option you select.
The unmodified allowance is the highest amount payable to you that ends upon your death. Each of the options provides a benefit to your named beneficiary after your death. Option 1 provides a lump-sum payment of your remaining contributions. Option 2, 2W, 3, 3W, or 4 provides a monthly allowance. The reduction to your unmodified allowance changes based on the option you choose. "Option factors" are used to determine this reduction. The amount of the reduction is based on tables that take into consideration your age and the age of your beneficiary. More information on the various options is available in the CalPERS Member Benefit publications.
For further information, review the Death Benefits section on the CalPERS website.
How To Apply For CalPERS Retirement
It is suggested that you begin filling out the Retirement Election Application four to five months before your anticipated retirement date. CalPERS does not want the application submitted to them more than 90 days prior to your retirement date. Refer to the City's "Retirement Guide" for further information.
After I Have Applied For Service Retirement, May I Change My Mind?
You may cancel/change your retirement any time before your first check is mailed, before your retirement date. If you do change your mind, immediately contact CalPERS at (888) 225-7377. If you have completed the paperwork allocating your unused sick leave, you also need to contact Employee Benefits at 570-6523. Keep in mind that your department has been notified of your separation date, therefore, your department will proceed with the City's separation document unless you tell them otherwise. (If you wish to return to your position with the City contact your supervisor to ensure there is still a position available for you.)
Be advised that changes to your retirement date may result in a delay in you receiving your first pension check from CalPERS.
FAQs And Tips
Planning for your retirement may seem like a daunting task. Educating yourself and beginning the process early (one year in advance of your projected retirement date) are key to a smooth and successful retirement application process. The City's "Retirement Guide" will steer you thru the retirement application process.
Health Insurance Costs For Retirees
At retirement, employees who are enrolled in benefits may convert their unused hours of sick leave to pay for health, dental, vision and long term care insurance premiums into retirement.
View current retiree insurance information in the 2023 Retirees Booklet.
Please Note: Change of insurance providers may only be done during retiree open enrollment annually. Any changes made will be effective January 1st of the following year. If moving out of state, you should contact the Retirement Team at (562) 570-6303 to check on the portability of your insurance. If changes are necessary they will be handled at the time of retirement or at a later date (when you move). Also, once you cancel your insurance you may never re-enroll.
CalPERS Special Power Of Attorney
A CalPERS Special Power of Attorney allows you to designate a representative or agent, known as your attorney-in-fact, to conduct your retirement affairs. Having a Special Power of Attorney on file with CalPERS ensures that your designated attorney-in-fact will be able to perform important duties concerning your CalPERS business, such as address changes; federal or state tax withholding elections; lost or stolen retirement checks; endorsing checks; beneficiary designations; or retirement benefit elections, should you become unable to act on your own behalf.
Further information and the required form are available on the CalPERS website; review the publication CalPERS Special Power of Attorney. Read it over very carefully before completing. To be valid the form must be fully completed and must be acknowledged before a notary public or signed by two witnesses. The person agreeing to act as attorney-in-fact must also sign the form. Any previous designations will be revoked by completing a new form.
In the event you have any questions concerning the effects of the appointment of an attorney-in-fact you are strongly urged to seek legal advice.
Retirement FormsView CalPERS Forms
Retirement Living Calculator
This personal budget planning tool is intended to give the user a basic overview of the potential sources of income and expenses they may have during retirement. This tool is not intended to be and/or replace professional advise and planning from a certified financial planner. Consult your personal certified financial planner for more accurate details.
Download the calculator. Please note you must have Microsoft Excel version 2013 or later.