Key Facts About Your Choices

UC RETIREMENT CHOICE

Eligible Pay

Retirement benefits are calculated based on "eligible pay," which does not include certain types of compensation, such as:

  • Pay that exceeds the full-time rate or established base pay rates for regular, normal positions;
  • Overtime pay (unless for compensatory time off);
  • Pay that exceeds the base salary (X+X’) under the Health Sciences Compensation Plan.

For a list of types of compensation that are not considered "eligible pay" when calculating retirement benefits, see A Complete Guide to Your UC Retirement Benefits.

Eligible Earnings Maximums

The maximum amount of your compensation that counts toward your retirement benefits may be affected by the 2013 California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act (PEPRA) maximum and/or the IRS dollar maximum.

  • PEPRA Pensionable Earnings Maximum: If you were hired on or after July 1, 2016, the maximum salary that counts toward your pension benefits is consistent with the maximum on pensionable earnings under PEPRA.* This maximum applies to most other California public pension plans and is reviewed annually and may be adjusted. For the 2022 Plan Year, the maximum is $134,974.
  • IRS Maximum: The IRS sets a dollar maximum for annual earnings upon which retirement benefits and contributions may be based. This maximum is also reviewed and may be adjusted annually. For the 2022 Plan Year, this maximum is $20,500.

*You are not subject to the PEPRA maximum (and your retirement benefits may differ) if you: previously worked for UC in an eligible appointment (i.e., were previously a UCRP member before 7/1/16); were hired before July 1, 2016, and became eligible for retirement benefits after July 1, 2016; or were a “Classic Member” under CalPERS and are eligible for reciprocity with UC. Employees in the latter group need to self-identify by contacting the UC Retirement Administration Service Center at 800-888-8267.

Designated Faculty

The designated faculty eligible for a 5% UC contribution to the supplemental benefit (on all eligible pay up to the annual IRS maximum) are as follows:

  • Ladder-rank faculty and equivalent titles (Professorial and Equivalent titles, which include Agronomists, Astronomers, Clinical Professor of Dentistry [over 50%], and Supervisor of Physical Ed)
  • Professor in Residence series
  • Professor of Clinical (X) series
  • Acting full, associate and assistant professors
  • Lecturers/Senior Lecturers (full-time) with Security of Employment or Potential Security of Employment (excluding UC Hastings Lecturers/ Senior Lecturers)
  • Adjunct Professor series
  • Health Science Clinical Professor series

Contribution Rates

Employer and employee contribution rates are set periodically by the UC Regents.

Switching from Savings Choice to Pension Choice

Savings Choice participants have a window of opportunity to switch prospectively from Savings Choice to Pension Choice, and become members of the UC Retirement Plan (UCRP). The second choice window for Savings Choice participants opens on the fifth anniversary of the calendar year in which they made their initial election.

A move from Savings Choice to Pension Choice is effective on July 1 (the beginning of the plan year) following your election, if your election is postmarked on or before May 31.

A switch from Savings Choice to Pension Choice is a change in your primary retirement benefits going forward; it is not retroactive. A switch to Pension Choice during your second choice window means:

  • Your Savings Choice account balance will remain yours. Contributions (from you and UC) to your Savings Choice account will stop on the date the change takes effect.
  • The service credit you earned as a participant in Savings Choice will count toward vesting in UCRP and toward your retiree health benefits. You will begin earning UCRP service credit toward the calculation of your pension benefit on the date your switch to Pension Choice takes effect.
  • You will remain in the pension plan for the remainder of your career, even if you separate and return.