If you are a California state or school employee, you are eligible for retirement once you reach age 50 and complete five years of service. The amount of your pension benefit will vary based on the date you plan on retiring and the years of service you have completed by that date. You can calculate the retirement date that provides the most benefit by using the online benefit calculator from the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) to see how different retirement dates affect your monthly pension income.
Gather your most recent CalPERS annual member statement. This statement is sent to you each October and details your account information. The statement includes information you'll need to use the calculator.
Go to the online CalPERS retirement planning calculator (see Resource). You do not need to log in to your account to use this service. The calculator begins at the "About You" screen.
Enter your information into the calculator boxes. Select your planned retirement date and enter your total final compensation. This figure equals your highest annual pay rate for one year or your highest average rate over three consecutive years.
Enter the number of days or hours of unused sick pay you've accumulated, and tell the calculator when you became a CalPERS member. Continue to the next screen.
Answer questions about your employer, your total years of public service and your CalPERS retirement formula. Input your current work status. If you're eligible to receive Social Security benefits in addition to your CalPERS benefits when you retire, select "Yes." Select your current work status and continue to the next screen.
Click the "Add Employer" button if you have additional CalPERS employers. Otherwise, click "Continue" to go to the next screen.
Click through the beneficiary page to get your estimated retirement benefit. You can receive an alternate estimate by returning to the "About You" screen and changing your retirement date.