SDCERS Retirement Plan Summary

Airport Authority General Members hired before January 1, 2003


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 Airport Authority 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 Airport Authority 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

Airport Authority

Plan Name

APA General

Hire Date

Hired before January 1, 2003.

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. Offset rate for General Members is 7% of base compensation. Offset rate for Division Directors is 8.5% of base compensation. *Contribution rates are reviewed by SDCERS’ actuary and adopted by the Board annually. 

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 eligibility and pension benefit amount. Credit earned for part-time status is proportionately awarded.


You must have at least five 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 five 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 average highest earnings over a one-year period; and
  • Cost of Living Annuity

Pension Benefit Formula

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

Retirement Factor

Retirement Factor – Employees hired on or before 4/01/2004 have a 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; (c) OR 2.5% per year of service at age 55, increasing to 3.0% at age 60 with 90% benefit cap.

Click here for all retirement calculation factors.

Benefit Cap

For those who select the "New Retirement Factors" (effective 4/1/2004) described in subsection (c) above, pension benefit cannot exceed 90% of final compensation.

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