SDCERS Retirement Plan Summary

City General Members hired before July 1, 2002


SDCERS was established by the City of San Diego in 1927 to administer retirement benefits for its Members. SDCERS provides benefits to its vested Members when they retire. SDCERS’ responsibilities include collecting contributions, making payments, investing earnings, and managing the retirement fund with direction from a 13-member Board of Administration (Board).

You become a Member of SDCERS after you are appointed to a position as any classified or unclassified, full or half-time City of San Diego employee. Required pre-tax contributions will be automatically deducted from your bi-weekly paycheck, transmitted to SDCERS, and deposited into the trust fund.

Your defined benefit plan with the City of San Diego is a retirement plan to which you make contributions while you are a Member, and that entitles you, when eligible, to a benefit from the time you retire until your death.

Plan Sponsor

City of San Diego

Plan Name


Hire Date

Hired before July 1, 2002

Member Contribution Rate

This is based on your age upon entry into SDCERS or into a reciprocal system if you have established reciprocity. Click here to access contribution rate chart. *Contribution rates can be changed at any time, but are generally reviewed annually by the Board.

Earning Service Credit

Service Credit represents the amount of time you have earned or purchased in the retirement system as a contributing Member of SDCERS. It is one of the factors used in determining your pension benefit amount when you retire. Credit earned for part-time status is proportionately awarded.


You must have at least 10 full years of service credit to be vested in the retirement system and eligible for retirement benefits once you have met the minimum age requirement. (Note: Reciprocal service credit may be used to satisfy vesting requirements.)

Service Retirement Eligibility

  • Age 55 (or older) with 20 or more years of service credit; or
  • Age 62 (or older) with 10 or more years of service credit

Pension Benefit

Your service retirement benefit is based on a formula which includes:

  • Age-Based Retirement Factor determined by age at retirement;
  • Service Credit;
  • Final Compensation, based on your highest one-year period of pensionable salary; and
  • Cost of Living Annuity

Pension Benefit Formula

(Retirement Factor) x (Service Credit) x (Final Compensation) + Cost of Living Annuity

Retirement Factor

Choice of:

(a) 2.0% per year of service at age 55, increasing to 2.55% at age 65, with an additional 10% added to final compensation and no benefit cap;

(b) 2.25% per year of service at age 55, increasing to 2.55% at age 65 with no benefit cap; or

(c) 2.5% per year of service at age 55, increasing to 2.8% at age 65 with a 90% benefit cap (see Municipal Code section 24.0402(e) for exceptions to benefit cap).

Click here for all retirement calculation factors.

(NOTE: If you were vested and left City service prior to July 1, 2002, contact SDCERS to determine your formula.)

Benefit Cap

For those who select the "New Retirement Factors" (effective 7/1/2002) described in subsection (c) above, pension benefit cannot exceed 90% of final compensation.*

*See San Diego Municipal Code section 24.0402(e)(2) for exceptions.

Create a Member Portal account to calculate your estimated future pension benefit.