The Three Types of CalPERS Retirement
There are actually three separate means by which a CalPERS member can qualify for retirement benefits: Service Retirement, Disability Retirement and Industrial Disability Retirement. It is important to understand the difference between the three so that a CalPERS member will apply for the type of disability for which they qualify that will pay the biggest benefit.
In this article our experienced disability retirement attorneys discuss the three types of CalPERS retirement.
CalPERs Industrial Disability Retirement (IDR)
Industrial Disability Retirement is available to most safety workers whose work related injury renders that employee substantially incapacitated, and prevents the employee from performing the usual duties of his or her position.
The primary advantage of IDR is that the first 50% of monthly gross earnings is non-taxable. If an employee sustains one or more work injuries so severe that the employee is unable to perform essential job functions, then IDR is a consideration.
CalPERS offers a worksheet on its website that enables an employee to compare what benefits would be available for Service Retirement, Disability Retirement, and Industrial Disability Retirement.
For example, an injured employee who has not yet reached retirement age would receive an IDR of 50% of the regular monthly salary. However, if that employee was eligible for service retirement, the IDR would be a minimum of 50% – but if he or she was eligible for more than 50% (i.e., 60% or 75%), the employee would receive the higher percentage, and the first 50% would be non-taxable.
CalPERs Disability Retirement
If an employee has been on the job at least 5 years and has a disability that prevents him or her from performing the essential duties of that job, and that the disability was NOT caused by the job, that employee might be eligible for Disability Retirement (DR). When considering PERS options, remember that disability retirement is taxable.
It is important not to make assumptions as to whether a condition is work related or not work related. An experienced attorney can help determine whether a disabling condition was caused, or even partially caused by the work environment.
CalPERs Service Retirement
If an employee has reached the minimum age for a particular position, and has accrued the required number of years of service (normally five years), that employee may apply for Service Retirement. Working beyond the 5 year minimum may increase the monthly retirement benefit, so it is important to understand all options before actually retiring.
Retirement is something everyone looks forward to. However, there are many financial and personal considerations. Our attorneys can advise potential retirees as to the best options offered through CalPERS, to maximize what benefits may be available to the employee and to be sure the employee is placed in the most advantageous position as he or she enters retirement.
CalPERs Disability Retirement Attorneys
The disability lawyers at Cantrell Green are among the few attorneys who understand and specialize in CalPERS disability benefits. If you are unsure if qualify for CalPERs disability retirement benefits, call our experienced lawyers today. We would be happy to help you determine your eligibility for disability retirement under the CalPERs system.
Free Consultation with a CalPERs Attorney: 562-622-4800
This article applies to members of California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS); and does not reflect the rules, laws or regulations governing how other public retirement systems are administered. If you have question about another public employee retirement system, find your system, below – or call our attorneys at: 562-622-4800