With CalPERS' window soon closing on additional retirement service credit purchases, officials during this morning's board meeting noted that it has set up two fax lines to receive applications for the benefit.
Lawmakers approved a package of public pension changes last summer that include terminating the airtime purchase program on Jan. 1.. The benefit allows pension fund members with at least five years of service to pay both their pension costs and their employers' pension costs for up to an additional five years. The credit is then factored into employees' pensions when they retire.
CalPERS expects to receive a flood of airtime cost requests over the next several days, so do yourself a favor and follow these steps if you're considering a purchase, says fund spokeswoman Amy Norris:
Make sure you meet minimum eligibility requirements. Only active CalPERS members (that means currently working for a CalPERS employer) with five years of qualifying service time with a CalPERS employer member at the time of faxing or mailing the request can apply.
Visit the Additional Retirement Service Credit website. It has instructions about the process and an online cost-estimate tool. Use the tool, because you may quickly find out that the benefit is outside your price range and save yourself and CalPERS a lot of needless work doing paperwork for a benefit you'll end up rejecting.
If you're still interested after completing the cost estimate exercise, download and complete the service credit application found on the "Service Credit Estimate Results" page. It's under the paragraph entitled "IMPORTANT".
Then, either fax or mail the request to the CalPERS office.
The phone numbers to FAX costing requests are (916) 795-1224 and (916) 795-4019.
Don't fax and mail the form -- you'll only delay processing.
All requests must arrive at CalPERS and be date stamped in its mailroom by 5 p.m. PST, December 31.
PHOTO: CalPERS headquarters in Sacramento / Sacramento Bee file