SDCERS Retirement Plan Summary

Port General Members hired before January 1, 2009


SDCERS was established by the City of San Diego in 1927 to administer retirement benefits for its Members. Since the San Diego Unified Port District was established in 1962, SDCERS has administered the Port’s retirement plan for Port employees. 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-time Port employee. Required pre-tax contributions will be automatically deducted from your bi-weekly paycheck, transmitted to SDCERS, and deposited into the retirement fund.

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

Plan Sponsor

San Diego Unified Port District

Plan Name

Port General

Hire Date

Hired before January 1, 2009 (with continuous employment until retirement).

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.


The Port pays a portion of each Member’s contribution rate, pursuant to the Port’s Salary Ordinance.

Earning Service Credit

Service Credit represents the amount of time you have earned 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.


You must have at least five full years of service credit as a contributing Member of SDCERS to be vested in the retirement system and eligible for retirement benefits once you have met the minimum age requirement. (Note: Reciprocal service credits 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;
  • Service Credit;
  • Final Compensation;
    • If hired before October 1, 2006, your highest earnings during your career for a one-year period, or
    • If hired on or after October 1, 2006, your average highest earnings during your career for a three-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 11/09/2001 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 average salary and no benefit cap; (b) 2.25% per year of service at age 55, increasing to 2.55% at age 65 and no benefit cap; (c) OR 2.5% per year of service at age 55, increasing to 3.0% at age 60 with a 90% benefit cap.

Retirement Factor – Employees hired after 11/09/2001: 2.5% per year of service at age 55, increasing to 3.0% at age 60 with a 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, and employees hired after 11/09/2001, pension benefit cannot exceed 90% of final average salary.

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