Information for City of San Diego Members Who Are Considering Terminating Employment (Due to Vaccine Mandates or Otherwise)

Date: Oct 27, 2021


If you are considering ending your employment with the City, due to the pending vaccine mandates or for any other reason, please review our Termination & Deferred Membership fact sheet as well as your plan tier’s Retirement Plan Summary, according to your plan sponsor, membership classification, and initial hire date.
Whether you are terminated for cause or voluntarily end your employment, the circumstances surrounding your departure do not affect your eligibility to receive any SDCERS pension benefits to which you are entitled. As long as you accrue enough service credit (including purchased and reciprocal service credit) to meet your plan tier’s minimum eligibility requirements, you can begin receiving your monthly pension benefit as soon as you become age-eligible. Again, please refer to your Retirement Plan Summary for information about eligibility requirements, as they differ according to plan sponsor and plan tier. You can also log in to your Member Portal account to see if you are currently service-eligible and also to use the benefit estimate calculator, which you can use to run different retirement scenarios and see an estimate of what your monthly pension benefit might be according to each scenario.
If you are (or will be) service and age-eligible to retire when you separate employment, and you are not currently participating in DROP, please submit your electronic service retirement application via your Member Portal account ASAP. You must have a counseling appointment and submit your completed, signed retirement application (not the electronic version – the final application you will discuss with your counselor at your appointment) prior to your retirement date. Ideally, your retirement date should be the day after your termination date. However, if your final application is dated and submitted later, the delayed submission will result in missed days of pension payments.
If you are currently participating in DROP, your retirement date will automatically be the day after your termination date – this is true regardless of if you quit your job or if you are fired. You do need to submit an electronic DROP retirement application and meet with a counselor as soon as possible after termination, but this does not necessarily need to happen prior to your termination date. In this case, a DROP retirement application submitted after your termination date will not result in missed days of pension payments, but it could delay your payments altogether until we have received the requisite paperwork from you.
If you are service-eligible, but not age-eligible to retire upon termination, you do not need an appointment just yet – you will become a “deferred vested” member once you separate employment. No matter where you are in the world, you will be eligible to retire and begin receiving your monthly pension benefit when you become age-eligible. Please log in to your Member Portal account a few months before you become age-eligible and submit your service retirement application. Submitting the electronic application will trigger a staff member to contact you and schedule your retirement counseling appointment.
If you are not service-eligible to retire when you terminate employment and you have no intention of establishing reciprocity elsewhere, you should consider your options regarding your member contributions on deposit with SDCERS. You can leave the funds with SDCERS, where they will earn annual interest at the current discount rate every July (the current rate at the time this article was written is 6.5%), or you can withdraw or rollover the funds (including interest) to an eligible account. If possible, it would be best to schedule a retirement counseling appointment prior to your termination, where your counselor will explain your options in more detail. However, please note that our counseling schedule is typically very busy in November and December, so be sure to plan in advance and review the relevant information on our website ASAP. To schedule an appointment due to terminating employment, you can contact our Call Center, open on regular business days from 9:00 a.m. to noon, and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., at (619) 525-3600.

Document Under Categories: News Articles, Pension, Press Release, Retirement Resources