2019

Active Member Death Benefits and the Importance of Keeping Your Beneficiary Designations Updated

Date: Dec 11, 2019 Categories: News Articles, Pension

When was the last time you thought about your SDCERS beneficiary designations? Over a year ago? Five years? The day you enrolled in SDCERS? Maybe never? Beneficiary designations may seem like a chore you can put off or do once and forget about, but the truth is you should review your beneficiary designations at least once a year to make sure they reflect your current circumstances. For example, beneficiary designations probably aren’t the first thing on your mind when you get married or divorced, have a child, or lose a loved one, but these are all defining life events that may affect who you want to receive your pension benefits when you die. Active Members (meaning those who are actively employed by the City, Port,* or Airport and contributing to SDCERS, but are not in DROP) are eligible to leave one of three types of death benefits if they die before retiring or entering DROP, and the eligibility requirements are very specific for two of the three types. Importantly, if you die without having designated your surviving spouse as your sole pre-retirement death benefit beneficiary, then your surviving spouse will not be eligible to receive the lifetime Death While Eligible or Industrial Death Benefit, even if all other eligibility requirements are satisfied. This article contains a summary of the death benefits provided to Active Members, but please review the Death Benefits Fact Sheet for more in-depth information. *General Port employees hired or rehired on or after January 1, 2009 must complete five consecutive years of Port employment after each hire or rehire date before they become Members of SDCERS and are eligible to leave a death benefit. Learn More...

DROP Interest Rates for 2020

Date: Nov 08, 2019 Categories: DROP, News Articles, Press Release

On November 8, SDCERS’ Board of Administration voted to approve new DROP account and DROP annuity interest rates, which will be effective January 1, 2020. The rates are calculated annually using publicly available indexes as of September 30 of each year.   Therefore, effective January 1, 2020, the DROP account interest rate (compounded quarterly) will be reduced to 2.5%, compared to the current rate of 2.7%. This interest rate will be applied to active DROP participants’ accounts. This rate is subject to change annually, which means a DROP participant’s account may receive a different interest rate every year during their participation period, depending on the Board’s actions.   Also beginning January 1, 2020, the DROP annuity interest rate will be increased to 3.1%, compared to the current rate of 3.0%. This interest rate will be applied to the funds remaining in a DROP retiree’s account if the retiree chooses to annuitize their DROP account, and it will be factored into the calculation of their monthly annuity. Unlike the DROP account interest rate, the DROP annuity rate will not change for an individual member – the rate that is in effect when a member exits DROP is the rate that will be applied to their annuity, regardless of whether or not the DROP annuity rate changes in future years. Therefore, if you are close to the end of your five-year DROP participation period, your decision to exit DROP before or after the New Year may be affected by the Board’s decision to increase or decrease the DROP annuity interest rate. Learn More...

SDCERS Board Approves Annual Supplemental Benefit and Corbett Settlement Increase for 2019

Date: Nov 08, 2019 Categories: 13th Check and Corbett, News Articles, Press Release

At its November 8, 2019 meeting, SDCERS’ Board of Administration approved payment of the Annual Supplemental Benefit, also known as the “13th Check,” and the Corbett Settlement Increase (“Corbett benefit”) for eligible retirees and continuance beneficiaries. The Supplemental Benefit is paid in years when the fund’s investment earnings are sufficient to qualify, according to a set formula defined in the plan documents, and the Corbett benefit is paid in years that the Supplemental Benefit is paid. If you are eligible for one or both of these benefits, payment will be included in your November 2019 monthly pension benefit.   The eligibility requirements for the Supplemental Benefit and Corbett settlement benefits are described in our FAQs under “Annual Supplemental Benefit ("13th Check"), Corbett, COLA, COL Annuity.” Here, you will also find a description of how these benefits are calculated.Click "Read More" to view the full article. Learn More...

SDCERS' IT Department Receives 2019 MISAC Quality IT Practices Award

Date: Nov 05, 2019 Categories: News Articles, Press Release

SDCERS is proud to announce it has received the Municipal Information System Association of California (MISAC) Quality Information Technology Practices Award for the second year in a row. MISAC is a collaborative organization of California local government IT professionals with the goal of promoting leadership, information sharing, and access to resources to enhance local government services and effectiveness. Membership includes cities, towns, public safety, special districts, and other local governmental agencies/districts.    Receiving MISAC Quality IT Practices Award is an honor and tribute to the dedication and performance of SDCERS’ IT staff and contractors.Click here to read the full article and learn more about this award.   Learn More...

SDCERS Receives the 2019 Public Pension Standards Award for Funding and Administration

Date: Oct 21, 2019 Categories: News Articles, Press Release

For the second year in a row, SDCERS has been awarded the Public Pension Standards Award for Funding and Administration. The Public Pension Coordinating Council grants this award, which recognizes SDCERS for meeting professional standards for plan funding and administration as set forth in the Public Pension Standards.​Click "Read More" for more information about this award. Learn More...

SDCERS' 2019 Annual Membership Meeting

Date: Oct 18, 2019 Categories: Events, News Articles

This year's Annual Membership Meeting took place on October 18th. If you missed it, you can download a copy of the presentation here. The theme of the meeting was "Keeping Our Promises, So You Can Keep Yours," and the presenters did a great job of explaining what SDCERS' promises to its members are and how we plan to keep them. Here is a short synopsis of this year's presentations: Liza Crisafi, Chief Investment Officer; Anders Norrman, Senior Investment Officer; and Jamie Hamrick, Senior Investment Officer, provided a summary of SDCERS' investment performance in fiscal year 2019. Marcelle Voorhies Rossman, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, explained how SDCERS protects its members' privacy and also how SDCERS funds the City, Port, and Airport's pension benefits. Gregg Rademacher, Chief Executive Officer, talked about SDCERS' core values and how these values are incorporated into SDCERS' "Retirement Promise." Cynthia Queen, Member Services Director, gave a brief overview of the Member Portal and why all of our members should have a Member Portal account. We'd like to thank the attendees at this year's meeting for being a wonderful, engaging audience. The meeting was video recorded and the video will be added to our YouTube channel as soon as it is available. We hope to see you all at next year's meeting!   Learn More...

SDCERS' Annual Membership Meeting - You're Invited!

Date: Oct 16, 2019 Categories: Events, News Articles

All Members are invited to attend SDCERS' Annual Membership Meeting, this Friday, October 18th, from 11:00 - noon at Balboa Park Club Ballroom. Presenters include Liza Crisafi, SDCERS' Chief Investment Officer, and other members of the Investments Team; Marcelle Voorhies Rossman, Deputy CEO; Gregg Rademacher, CEO; and Cynthia Queen, Member Services Director. We hope to see you there! (If you can't make it this year, don't worry - the meeting will be video recorded and posted to our Youtube channel next week.)   Learn More...

Meet Your SDCERS Call Center Representatives!

Date: Sep 27, 2019 Categories: News Articles

If you’ve ever called SDCERS, odds are you’ve spoken to one of our Call Center representatives. These are the people who spend all day, every day answering Members’ questions and trying to fix their problems. As anyone in customer service will likely tell you, it can sometimes be a thankless job. However, our Call Center representatives are lucky to have kind and patient Members, and our Members are equally lucky to have such passionate and caring people on the other end of the phone. At some point, almost all of our Members will talk to someone in the Call Center, so we thought you might like to know a little more about the ladies you’ll be talking to and maybe even put a face to the name of your representative. Click "Read More" below to view the full article and see individual bios for each of our Call Center staff members!From Left to Right: Sarema Valenzuela, Catherine Ayala, Andrea Valdes, Selene Rodriguez, and Victoria Fedalizo. Learn More...

SDCERS' Final Investment Return for Fiscal Year 2019

Date: Sep 20, 2019 Categories: Investments, News Articles, Press Release

At the September Board meeting, SDCERS’ Investments Team reported a final return of 7% (net of fees) for Fiscal Year 2019. As of June 30, 2019, the trust fund’s assets totaled $8.4 billion, reflecting a net increase of $370 million over the past year. SDCERS’ average rate of return over the past 20 years is 7.3%, and since its inception is 8.9%.   There are a few ways to measure an investment portfolio’s performance – after all, 7% is great if the market averaged only a 3% return for example, but 7% isn’t so good if the market averaged 10-15%. One way we measure our performance is by comparing our actual rate of return to the actuarial rate of return, which is the expected earnings rate determined by SDCERS’ actuary and used to calculate things like contribution rates. We are happy to report that our 7% return beat our actuarial rate of return of 6.5%, which indicates SDCERS is maintaining its long-term investment strategy to ensure the continued payment of promised pension benefits to its members.   Another way to measure performance is by comparing our returns to a market benchmark, which is basically how the market did if its asset allocations were invested proportionate to SDCERS’ portfolio. Unfortunately, we did not beat our market benchmark of 7.6%; this is primarily due to relative underperformance from our private equity investments. (See full article for more details.) Learn More...

SDCERS' Board Appoints New Vice President and Committee Chairs

Date: Sep 13, 2019 Categories: Board, News Articles, Press Release

At the September 13th Board meeting, Board President Carol Broad appointed Carina Coleman to the position of Vice President. The appointment was unanimously approved by the remaining members of the Board who were present. The Vice President’s duties include acting as the Board President whenever the Board President is absent or otherwise unable to fulfill their duties, and temporarily assuming the role of Board President until an election can be scheduled in the event the current Board President’s seat becomes vacant. Ms. Coleman was additionally appointed to be the new Chair of the Investment Committee, a seat previously occupied by Board President Carol Broad.From Left to Right: Charlie Hogquist, Carina Coleman, Carol Broad, and Thanasi Preovolos The Audit Committee reappointed Roberta Spoon as its Chair, and the current Chairs of the Business and Governance Committee and Disability Committee will remain the same as well: Thanasi Preovolos and Charles Hogquist, respectively. Please join us in congratulating our new Vice President and Committee Chairs! You can watch the September 13th Board meeting by going to Board Meeting Agendas and clicking on “View Media” next to the September 13, 2019 Board of Aministration Meeting line item.   Learn More...

Seeking Proposals for IT Internal Auditor: Important Updates and Scope Clarifications via Q&A

Date: Sep 13, 2019 Categories: RFP

SDCERS invites experienced internal auditors to respond to the Request for Proposals to provide IT internal auditing services. These services include executing one to five IT internal audits over the next three years.UPDATE: Please see important updates and scope clarifications to the IT Internal Audit Services RFP via the Q&A posted on our website.  The deadline to submit proposals is September 27, 2019.  For details, read the Request for Proposal and the Q&A. Learn More...

Annual Member Statements

Date: Aug 16, 2019 Categories: Member Portal, News Articles

Non-retired SDCERS Members will be receiving their Annual Statement of Benefits in the mail over the next several days. This statement contains detailed account information for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019, which means the information is current as of July 1, 2019. The purpose of this Annual Statement of Benefits is (1) to ensure that your beneficiary designations are updated, and (2) to keep you informed of the details of your SDCERS retirement account.Please review the information on your statement carefully and contact SDCERS if you need to update your information or if you believe there is an error in your statement. A video detailing the contents of your statement is available here. If you have questions about your Annual Statement of Benefits, please visit your Payroll Specialist or call the SDCERS Call Center at 619-525-3600. And remember, your most up-to-date account information is always available on the SDCERS Member Portal. Learn More...

SDCERS' Board Welcomes Two New Members, and Carina Coleman Reappointed for Second Term

Date: Aug 05, 2019 Categories: Board, News Articles, Press Release

Last week, the City Council unanimously approved the Mayor’s appointment of two new Board Members: Clifford Schireson and Paul Kaufmann. The City Council also approved the reappointment of veteran Board Member Carina Coleman.Carina Coleman and Paul Kaufmann being sworn in at the Office of the City Clerk. We are thrilled to welcome our new Board Members, and also to have Carina Coleman back for a second term! You can see all three at our next Board meeting on September 13th at 8:30 a.m. in our Board room. If you can’t attend in person, you can tune in to the live broadcast by clicking on “Board Meeting Agendas”, following the link to the online agendas, and clicking on “Live Media” in the Board of Administration line when the meeting starts. Please read the full article for more information about these three Board Members. Learn More...

Active City Members: Register for Upcoming Pre-Retirement Seminar!

Date: Jul 31, 2019 Categories: Events, Press Release, Retirement Resources

UPDATE: THE SEPTEMBER SEMINAR IS NOW FULL. WE WILL ANNOUNCE THE DATES OF FUTURE SEMINARS AS THEY ARE SCHEDULED. Attention All Active City Members:   Registration is now open for SDCERS’ upcoming pre-retirement seminar, which will be held on September 11th at 2:30 p.m. in SDCERS’ Board room (401 West A Street, Third Floor, San Diego, CA 92101). At this educational seminar, SDCERS staff will walk you through your retirement benefits and help you plan for the future.No matter how old you are, it’s never too early or too late to start thinking about your retirement goals and making plans so that you can meet those goals. Space is limited, so please call SDCERS as soon as possible to register, at (619) 525-3600.  Additional pre-retirement seminars and DROP entry seminars will be held in the future, so if you miss this one, you can plan to attend next time.   NOTE: You must attend a pre-retirement seminar before attending a Deferred Retirement Option Plan (“DROP”) entry seminar. Learn More...

SDCERS Receives Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting

The Government Financial Officers Association (“GFOA”) has awarded SDCERS the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for SDCERS’ 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (“CAFR”) and Popular Annual Financial Report (“PAFR”). This is the 11th year in a row SDCERS has received this recognition! The GFOA is a non-profit professional association serving approximately 15,000 government finance professionals. SDCERS’ CAFR and PAFR were judged by an impartial panel and deemed to have met the high standards of the certificate program, including demonstrating an effective means to disclose and clearly communicate SDCERS’ financial story and to motivate Members and the public to read the CAFR and PAFR.  This award it the highest form of recognition in the area of government accounting and financial reporting. It represents a significant accomplishment by a governmental agency and its management. SDCERS’ award-winning CAFR and PAFR are available online and can be viewed here. Learn More...

New SDCERS Board President

Date: Jul 12, 2019 Categories: Board, News Articles, Press Release

After former Board President Val Hoy maxed out his term limit, the Board established a Nomination Committee at its May meeting to nominate a fellow Board Member for the vacant position. Today, the Nomination Committee unanimously recommended Carol Broad be elected as the new Board President, and the Board unanimously approved this recommendation. Carol has served as the Board’s Vice President since July 13, 2018 and she has acted as the interim Board President since Val Hoy vacated the office. Carol is also the Chair of the Investment Committee and has over 30 years of experience in the financial industry, particularly in providing investment advice to major public and corporate pension funds. For more information about Carol’s professional background. Learn More...

New Member Contribution Rates For FY 2020

Date: Jul 01, 2019 Categories: Actuarial Valuations, Contribution Rates, News Articles

IMPORTANT: These changes only apply to (1) City of San Diego Members and (2) Port Safety Members who were hired after January 1, 2013.   New Member contribution rates went into effect on July 1, 2019 for all City of San Diego Members, and for Port Safety Members hired after January 1, 2013. If you fall into one of these categories, you can view your new contribution rates by going to “Retirement Plan Summaries” and clicking on your employer and date of hire. Most Members will only notice a minor adjustment on their first July paycheck. These Member contributions are the mandatory pre-tax deductions on a Member’s biweekly paycheck that are deposited into the SDCERS Trust Fund, where they earn interest and eventually fund each Member’s individual pension. Contributions are calculated as a percentage of the Member’s pensionable salary. The percentage is determined according to the Member’s plan tier and age of entry into SDCERS. Contribution rates are adjusted by SDCERS’ Board as needed, based on actuarial assumptions and calculations provided by SDCERS’ actuary.   Learn More...

Important Reciprocity Update

Date: Jun 24, 2019 Categories: News Articles, Reciprocity

SDCERS administers the pension plans for three plan sponsors - the City of San Diego, the San Diego Unified Port District, and the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. Your ability to establish reciprocity depends on which plan sponsor you intend to work for, so please review this information carefully. If you are currently working at a California government agency that participates in reciprocity, and you are considering employment with the Port or Airport, you can apply to establish reciprocity. If you are currently working at a California government agency that participates in reciprocity, and you are considering employment with the City of San Diego, please note that only sworn police officers may join the City of San Diego’s pension plan. The City’s pension plan was closed on July 20, 2012, following the passage of City Proposition B, to all new hires except sworn police officers Learn More...

SDCERS Recognizes Outgoing Board Trustees

Date: Jun 17, 2019 Categories: Board

Serving as an SDCERS Trustee requires expertise, attention and time – with no compensation – and a commitment to delivering accurate and timely benefits to participants and ensure the trust fund’s safety, integrity and growth. Having accomplished this, three SDCERS Board Trustees were recently honored for their service.Board President and Mayoral Appointee Valentine S. Hoy, Mayoral Appointee William W. Haynor and Active Police Safety Trustee Thomas A. Sullivan, who each served two four-year terms, were recognized at the March 10, 2019 Board meeting, and at a send-off event in April. The new Board President will be selected at the July Board meeting. We are excited to welcome Sgt. Louis Maggi as our newly elected Active Police Safety Trustee seat. SDCERS is governed by a 13-member Board of Administration, responsible for the prudent administration of retirement benefits for City of San Diego, San Diego Unified Port District and San Diego County Regional Airport employees, and for overseeing the investment portfolio of the retirement system’s trust fund. Learn More...

Welcome to Our New Website!

Date: Jun 11, 2019

Today, after months of planning, SDCERS officially launched its new website! The site has been completely redesigned to simplify and improve navigation so our members can more easily plan for and enjoy retirement. We hope the new format will help you find the information you need easily and more quickly. Check back on our site frequently, as we will continue adding more content, features, and updates. As with any new website, there may be a few pieces that need adjustment over the next few weeks. Please participate in our Website Satisfaction Survey  to send us your feedback and let us know if you have any questions or suggestions about the site or if you experience technical difficulty.  Learn More...

Fiscal Year 2020 COLA & City Retiree Health Open Enrollment Help Day

Date: Jun 05, 2019 Categories: Board, COLA, News Articles, Open Enrollment, Press Release

At its May 10, 2019 meeting, the Board approved two Cost of Living Adjustments (“COLA”) that will be applied to eligible retirees’ monthly benefit from July 2019 – June 2020. Members whose retirement date is before July 1, 2018 will receive a COLA increase of 2.0%. Members whose retirement date is between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019 will receive a COLA increase of 1.9%.  Also, 2019-2020 Health Open Enrollment for eligible City Retirees will run from June 3 – 28, 2019. This year’s Health Open Enrollment Help Day is Friday, June 14 at the Balboa Park Club Ballroom. There will be no formal presentations, but SDCERS staff and representatives from sponsored health plans will be available to answer questions from 10:00 a.m. – noon. You may also submit your enrollment forms directly to SDCERS staff at this event. Click here for more information Learn More...

City Retiree Health Open Enrollment Kickoff

Date: May 23, 2019 Categories: Open Enrollment

2019-2020 Health Open Enrollment for eligible City Retirees will run from June 3 – 28, 2019. The Health Open Enrollment Kickoff is this Friday, May 24 at the Balboa Park Club Ballroom. The event will feature formal presentations by Kaiser, Cigna, SCAN Health Plan, and Sharp from 10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., and retirees will be able to talk to the providers and ask questions until noon. Click here for more information Learn More...

Seeking Proposals for Tax Counsel

Date: May 13, 2019 Categories: RFP

SDCERS invites experienced attorneys and law firms to respond to the Request for Proposal to provide tax-related legal services. These legal services include providing timely training and legal advice to Board and staff; presenting to the Board on tax matters, and representing SDCERS in tax matters. The deadline to submit proposals is June 7, 2019, and applicant questions are due by May 24. For details, read the Request for Proposal. Learn More...

Fact Check Your Future

Date: Apr 02, 2019 Categories: Retirement Resources

SDCERS administers benefits for more than 20 plan tiers, and you can learn more about YOUR plan by reading the Retirement Plan Summary that corresponds to your employer and hire date. Understand how your retirement contributions are calculated, when you are eligible for a lifetime retirement benefit, and your retirement benefit formula. Invest a few minutes in learning about your retirement future.  Learn More...

Member Portal Unavailable April 1, 2019

Date: Mar 27, 2019 Categories: Member Portal

ATTENTION! Please note we are closed April 1, 2019. In addition, on April 1, 2019 we will be conducting website maintenance. Our website, The Member Portal, and phones will be unavailable. We will resume regular business on April 2, 2019. Learn More...

SDCERS' Board Votes to Set Minimum Pension Payments

Date: Jan 17, 2019 Categories: Actuarial Valuations, Board, News Articles, Pension, Press Release

At the January meeting, SDCERS' Board of Administration took another important step toward pension stability by voting to set minimum annual pension payments of the Unfunded Actuarial Liability (UAL) for the City of San Diego and the Port of San Diego. This minimum payment is also referred to as a "floor," meaning even if the required annual payment is less than the "floor," that minimum amount must be paid each year. The UAL floor payment for the City was set at $275.5 million and $13.3 million for the Port. This is based on the June 30, 2018 actuarial valuations which set the payment amount for the fiscal 2020 payment to the retirement system. The new policy increases benefit security and helps the pension fund reach full funding by 2037, several years earlier than anticipated. The Board also voted to prospectively limit the long-term impacts of changes to the assumed rate of return (discount rate), retirement rates, and life expectancy assumptions, to a 20-year period from the previous 30-year period. A video of the Board discussion and vote is available here.   Learn More...