Member Benefits

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Airport Authority: General Members

Terminating Employment

If you terminate employment with the City of San Diego prior to being eligible for a retirement benefit, your options vary depending on whether or not you are vested in the retirement system.

Terminating employment as a vested member (deferred retirement)

If you terminate employment with the City of San Diego and are vested in the retirement system, but have not met the minimum age and service credit requirements necessary to receive a retirement benefit, you may leave your member contributions on deposit with SDCERS and quaalify for benefits on the date you become age eligible. This is called deferred retirement. Your retirement benefit will be based on your service credit earned, as well as service credit you purchased, while working at the City, and on the retirement benefits in effect on the day you terminated and left your contributions with SDCERS.

Terminating employment as a non-vested member

If you terminate employment before you are vested, you have several options:

  • Refund of contributions

    If you choose to take a refund of your retirement contributions and interest, SDCERS will issue a check payable to you, less the mandatory 20% federal income tax withholding and 2% state income tax withholding. Upon receipt of these funds, you would no longer be eligible for any SDCERS retirement benefits, including disability retirement benefits.
  • Rollover

    Alternatively, you may request a rollover of the pre-tax portion of your account balance to a Rollover IRA or other qualified plan. Post-tax contributions cannot be rolled over and will be refunded to you by separate check.
  • Leave contributions on account

    If you believe you may return to City service or want to establish reciprocity with another system, you may leave your contributions on account with SDCERS.
  • Reciprocity

    If you terminate employment from the City of San Diego and begin employment within 180 days at another government agency within California, you may be eligible for reciprocity.

    Through an agreement with your employer and the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), many other California government agencies will consider your years of service and age of entry in SDCERS when determining your retirement contribution rate and eligibility to retire. If you establish reciprocity, you must leave your contributions on account with SDCERS.

    Visit the Reciprocity page for more details.

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