Retirement Tier Structure

Overview

Retirement Tier Structure

Currently, your retirement system has fourteen benefit tiers, mandated by amendments to CERL, and adopted by the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors.

There are two broad categories of active membership: general and safety. Safety members are employed in active law enforcement, active fire suppression, or certain other high risk classifications as defined in sections of CERL. All other eligible employees are considered general members.

  • New general members are typically assigned to PEPRA General Tiers 4 or 5, depending on which disability provision your employer has adopted. In either tier your post-retirement Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) may be limited to either 3% (or 4% for disability retirements) or 2% per year depending on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or employer resolution that covers you. 
  • New safety members are typically assigned to PEPRA Safety Tiers D or E. The only difference between Tiers D and E is that your post-retirement COLA is limited to either 2 or 3% per year. The tier you are assigned to depends on the MOU or employer resolution that covers you. 

If you had a previous membership with CCCERA or a reciprocal retirement system prior to 2013, you may be assigned to a legacy tier (General Tiers 1, 2, or 3, or Safety Tiers A or C).

Benefit Tiers

Tier Final Average
Salary
Maximum
COLA
Service Retirement Benefits Disability
Standard*
General Tier 1 12 months 3% 1.67% at 55 (1)
General Tier 1, Enhanced 12 months 3% 2% at 55 (1)
General Tier 2 36 months 4% 1.55% at 62 (2)
General Tier 3, Enhanced 12 months 3% (4% for disability) 2% at 55 (2)
PEPRA General Tier 4 (3% COLA) 36 months 3% 2.5% at 67 (1)
PEPRA General Tier 4 (2% COLA) 36 months 2% 2.5% at 67 (1)
PEPRA General Tier 5 (3%/4% COLA) 36 months 3% (4% for disability) 2.5% at 67 (2)
PEPRA General Tier 5 (2% COLA) 36 months 2% 2.5% at 67 (2)
Safety Tier A 12 months 3% 2% at 50 (1)
Safety Tier A, Enhanced 12 months 3% 3% at 50 (1)
Safety Tier C, Enhanced 36 months 2% 3% at 50 (1)
PEPRA Safety Tier D 36 months 3% 2.7% at 57 (1)
PEPRA Safety Tier Safety E 36 months 2% 2.7% at 57 (1)

*Disability Standards

  1. Permanently incapacitated for the performance of duty.
  2. Unable permanently to engage in any substantial gainful employment.

Commands