Retirement benefits are funded through employee and employer contributions and by investment earnings of the fund.
All participating members contribute to the Plan through regular payroll deductions. Because SCERA is a tax-qualified plan, contributions into the SCERA fund are not taxed when they are made, but benefits based on the contributions will be taxed as benefits are paid.
Contribution rates vary according to your plan membership. To determine what Plan you are in, refer to the Membership page.
Plan A members
Your contributions are a percentage of your pensionable compensation. The percentage rate is determined by your age at the time you enter the plan and whether you are a General or Safety member. You do not pay contributions on overtime pay, nor are overtime hours counted as service credit.
If you are a prospective or new member in Plan A, you may call SCERA to find out what your contribution amount will be. The current average contribution rates for Plan A members are:
- County of Sonoma General members: 12.82%
- County of Sonoma Safety members: 13.37%
- Superior Court members: 13.12%
- Sonoma Valley Fire District General members: 11.57%
- Sonoma Valley Fire District Safety members: 11.70%
Plan B members
Your contributions are a percentage of your pensionable compensation. The percentage is a flat rate, which is determined by whether you are a General or a Safety member. You do not pay contributions on overtime pay, nor are overtime hours counted as service credit. The current contribution rates for Plan B members are:
- County of Sonoma General members: 10.71%
- County of Sonoma Safety members: 16.27%
- Superior Court members: 10.71%
- Sonoma Valley Fire District General members: 7.68%
- Sonoma Valley Fire District Safety members: 14.00%
The employer also contributes any amounts needed in addition to employee contributions and investment earnings to provide for current and future benefits, and these employer contributions are kept in a separate reserve account. You will benefit from your employer’s contributions only upon retirement.
Employee and employer contribution rates may be adjusted following periodic actuarial studies and approval by the Retirement Board.
Members can log into their MySCERA account to view the total amount of their contributions, including interest earned on those funds.