Established in 1947, the Legislators' Retirement System provides retirement and death benefits for legislators, constitutional officers, and legislative statutory officers.
The Legislators' Retirement System is funded through contributions from the state, members of the system, and investment earnings. Member contributions are dependent upon the member's first enrollment date in the Legislators' Retirement System. Members enrolled prior to March 4, 1972, contribute 4 percent of salary while members enrolled after that date contribute 8 percent of salary. The state's contribution to the Legislators' Retirement System varies each year and is based upon the amount needed to pay future benefits. In years when member contributions and investment earnings exceed the amount needed to pay benefits, the state does not make any contributions. Between 2000-01 and 2011-12, the Legislators' Retirement System was super-funded and neither the state nor members were required to contribute. Beginning in 2012-13, contributions resumed for the state and members.
The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) administers the Legislators' Retirement System on behalf of its members. Retirement benefits paid are based upon age, years of service, and final compensation. Benefits for death, disability, and surviving dependents of deceased members are also provided under specific conditions.
Proposition 140, approved by voters in 1990, closed the Legislators' Retirement System to all new legislators after November 6, 1990.
Effective January 1, 2013, the Legislators' Retirement System was closed to all new members by the California Public Employees' Pension Reform Act of 2013, Chapter 296, Statutes of 2012 (AB 340). New constitutional officers, statutory officers, Sergeant-at-Arms, and the Insurance Commissioner retain optional membership rights in CalPERS.