7900 Public Employees' Retirement System
Program Descriptions


CalPERS provides retirement planning education, service and disability retirement, refunds, and survivor and death benefits for employees of California public employers. CalPERS provides special benefits based on death or disability incurred in the line of duty for members in certain occupations. As of June 30, 2015, there were about 1,205,000 active and inactive members, and about 611,000 retirees, survivors, and beneficiaries under the CalPERS system.

Basic retirement benefits are generally based upon three factors: age at retirement, years of service, and final compensation. There are different formulas for each of the member categories, such as Miscellaneous, Industrial, Peace Officer/Firefighter, California Highway Patrol, and Safety. Over 50 contract options are available to local cities, counties, and districts that contract with CalPERS. However, state and local employees hired after January 1, 2013 will generally be limited to one of five benefit formulas. A member's retirement and death benefits are determined by statute and/or contract provisions.

As of June 30, 2015, there were 3,006 public agency and school district employers providing CalPERS retirement, death, and survivor benefits to California public employees. CalPERS benefits may be transferable for members who continue their careers with many other public employers in California as a result of agreements between CalPERS and other public agency retirement systems.

CalPERS also administers the Legislators' and Judges' Retirement Systems.


The Health Benefits Branch program contracts with health maintenance organizations, claim administrators, employee associations, and others to provide health and long-term care insurance for state, California State University, and local public agency employees, retirees, and their dependents. The program negotiates and monitors health plan contracts, develops cost-effective programs, provides enrollment services to members and employers, and meets and confers with employee organizations and employer representatives.

Additionally, this program maintains demographic and statistical information systems; establishes standards for Basic, Supplement to Medicare, and Managed Medicare health plans; establishes and maintains health benefits coverage for all eligible employees and retirees; provides accurate and timely accounting for participating agencies; and serves as an impartial intermediary between CalPERS enrollees and insurance carriers in resolving claim and service disputes.


Through this program, CalPERS invests funds in various investment categories (stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.) for the purpose of minimizing the employers' contributions to the system needed to provide benefits to active participants, retired members, and their beneficiaries. Since CalPERS was established in 1932, assets have grown from $800,000 to a total of $301.1 billion, as of June 30, 2015.


This program provides executive direction, specialized information, and administrative support necessary to administer all of the CalPERS programs. The various services include: Audits, Diversity Outreach, Executive, Financial Office, Human Resources, Information Technology, Legal, Legislative Affairs, Operation Support, Enterprise Strategy and Performance, and Public Affairs.