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Prior Public Service

Did you know that prior service for another California or Federal public agency might be able to enhance your SCERA benefit? California retirement law recognizes the mobility of the workforce, and allows members to move from one public employer to another without losing valuable retirement benefits, and allows you to earn or regain prior service credit.

As a new SCERA member, take a moment to consider if your past service can be of benefit to you now.

  • Reciprocity - Have you come to SCERA within six months of employment with another California public employer? If so, you may be eligible for the benefits of reciprocity, including possible placement in Plan A. Reciprocity is an election you make with your former employer. If you think you might be eligible, contact your former employer or pension system, or contact a Benefits Specialist at SCERA.
  • Extra Help or Part Time - If you worked for a SCERA-covered employer in an ineligible position before your SCERA membership began, be sure to find out how that service could be added to your retirement service credit. The more service credit you have at the time of your retirement, the higher your pension will be. If the time worked was for Sonoma County or one of it's agencies, you can download and submit the Retirement Buy Back Information Request Form to the Sonoma County Auditor Division to have your extra help or part time service certified by your employer. If the time worked was for Superior Court, contact the Courts Human Resources department.
  • Federal Service - If you have prior federal service (including military) but are not receiving a benefit for that service, you may be able to purchase that time with SCERA by paying additional contributions for that service.
  • Other California Public Service - Even if you are not able to establish reciprocity, service in another California public agency might still be valuable to you. Please contact SCERA for more information.