About the UC Retirement Choice program

About Pension Choice

Savings Choice option

Choosing your retirement option

Information for current employees


About the UC Retirement Choice program

What retirement benefits does UC offer?

UC offers all eligible new employees (hired or newly-eligible for benefits on or after July 1, 2016) a choice of primary retirement benefits — Pension Choice or Savings Choice. Participation in one of these options is required, with costs shared by you and UC. UC also offers voluntary savings opportunities and a range of resources to help you make informed retirement decisions.

Who is eligible to choose between Pension Choice and Savings Choice?

You’re eligible for a choice of primary retirement benefits if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are hired into an eligible faculty or staff position on or after July 1, 2016; OR
  • You are hired in an ineligible position, and then become eligible for retirement benefits on or after July 1, 2016; OR
  • You are rehired into an eligible faculty or staff position on or after July 1, 2016, following a break in service, unless your original UC Retirement Plan (UCRP) entry date was prior to July 1, 1994. Generally, a break in service occurs if you have left UC employment for one full calendar month or more.

What are the primary retirement benefit options?

UC offers you two primary retirement benefit options — Pension Choice or Savings Choice. Participation in one is required, and you choose the one that fits you best. Both you and UC contribute to the option you select.

  • Pension Choice includes a pension benefit under the UC Retirement Plan (UCRP), offering a predictable level of lifetime retirement income.
    • Your pension benefit in UCRP is based on your annual eligible pay1 up to a maximum of $118,775 in 2017, with some exceptions.
    • Along with the pension benefit, all designated faculty2, and eligible staff and other academic appointees with annual eligible pay above $118,775 in 2017, who elect Pension Choice can build retirement savings through a supplemental 401(k)-style account.
    • Note that certain groups are not affected by the $118,775 maximum (see “eligible pay” FAQ). If you are in one of these groups, you will have a higher maximum on eligible pay that counts toward your UCRP pension benefit, and therefore will not be eligible for the supplemental 401(k)-style account.
  • Savings Choice works much like a 401(k) plan. Your mandatory pretax contributions, contributions from UC (based on your eligible pay1) and any investment earnings accumulate in a tax-deferred retirement account. You can draw income from your account when you retire. Distributions are governed by plan rules.

Why is UC offering new UC employees a choice between an employer-funded 401(k)-style benefit and a pension benefit?

The UC workforce is a diverse community of employees, and not everyone has the same needs or preferences when it comes to retirement benefits. Some employees stay at UC for many years, while others do not. Continuing to offer a pension benefit is important to UC’s ability to attract and retain the caliber of faculty and other personnel needed to maintain UC’s long-term excellence. At the same time, a 401(k)-style benefit may be attractive to those UC employees who may stay with UC for only several years and/or who prefer to personally manage their retirement savings. Offering new employees a choice of retirement benefits allows UC to more effectively support the retirement needs of different employees, and in doing so, more effectively attract and retain a variety of personnel.

What are the limits on the amount of my pay that counts toward retirement benefits?

The maximum amount of your compensation that counts toward your Pension Choice benefits may be affected by a number of factors, including the 2013 California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act (PEPRA) maximum, the IRS dollar maximum and UC guidelines about eligible pay.

  • PEPRA maximum. Unless you are a member of a group not subject to the PEPRA maximum (see “eligible pay maximums” FAQ), the maximum pay that counts toward your pension benefits is consistent with the maximum on pensionable earnings under PEPRA. This maximum also applies to other California public pension plans and is reviewed annually and may be adjusted. For 2017, the maximum is $118,775.
  • IRS maximum. The IRS sets a dollar maximum for annual pay upon which retirement benefits and contributions may be based. This maximum is also reviewed and may be adjusted annually. For 2017, this maximum is $270,000.
  • Eligible pay. Retirement benefits are calculated based on “eligible pay,” which does not include certain types of compensation. 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.

Do the eligible pay maximums apply to everyone?

The annual IRS maximum — $270,000 in 2017 — applies to everyone except employees who were in UCRP prior to July 1, 1994. These employees have a higher “grandfathered” IRS maximum. The PEPRA maximum of $118,775 in 2017 applies to most people who are hired into an eligible faculty or career staff appointment on or after July 1, 2016.

You may not be subject to the PEPRA maximum (and your retirement benefit options may differ) if you:

  • Previously worked for UC in an eligible appointment;
  • Were hired before July 1, 2016, and became eligible for retirement benefits on or after July 1, 2016; OR
  • Were a “Classic Member” under CalPERS and are eligible for reciprocity with UC.

These groups generally will have a higher maximum on eligible pension pay and therefore will not be eligible for the supplemental account contributions. Employees in these groups contribute 7% of eligible pay, up to the annual IRS pay maximum, and UC contributes 8% of eligible pay. All contributions will go toward funding the UCRP pension benefit.

If you believe you meet these criteria, or if you have questions, contact the UC Retirement Administration Service Center (RASC) at (800) 888-8267. New UC employees who were classified as a “Classic Member” under CalPERS and are also eligible for reciprocity with UC need to self-identify.

What is considered “eligible pay” when determining retirement contributions and benefits?

“Eligible pay” for the purposes of calculating retirement contributions and benefits (also referred to in UCRP as “covered compensation”) is the gross monthly pay that an active employee receives for an appointment, with the exception of Health Sciences Compensation Plan appointments. Some of the types of compensation that are not considered “eligible pay” when calculating retirement benefits are:

  • Pay that exceeds the full-time rate or established base pay rates for regular, normal positions;
  • Overtime pay (unless for compensatory time off);
  • Additional negotiated compensation paid as “Y” or “Z” components under the Health Sciences Compensation Plan or as negotiated compensation under the Negotiated Salary Program.

For more about eligible pay, see A Complete Guide to Your UC Retirement Benefits on UCnet.

I was just hired as a Health Sciences Compensation Plan faculty member. Will my retirement benefits (and contributions) be based on my entire salary?

Only X+ X’ base components of pay, plus some forms of administrative stipends, are considered “eligible pay” when determining retirement contributions and benefits. Additional, negotiated compensation paid as “Y” or “Z” components do not count toward UC retirement benefits or contributions. For more about eligible pay, see A Complete Guide to Your UC Retirement Benefits on UCnet.

I am returning to UC as a rehire — I was previously in UCRP. What benefits am I eligible for?

If you previously worked for UC and first became a UCRP member between July 1, 1994, and June 30, 2016, you are eligible to choose either Pension Choice or Savings Choice, provided you have an eligible appointment.

If you are in this group, you are not subject to the PEPRA maximum if you elect Pension Choice, and therefore will not be eligible for contributions to the supplemental account. Under either Pension Choice or Savings Choice, you will contribute 7% of your eligible pay and UC will contribute 8% of your eligible pay, up to the annual IRS maximum.

If your original UCRP entry date was before July 1, 1994, and you are rehired in an eligible appointment, you will automatically become an active member of UCRP and will not be eligible to choose between Pension Choice and Savings Choice.

I'm represented by a union. What are my options?

If you’re represented by a union, your retirement benefits are governed by your union’s contract with UC and may be different than the benefits outlined here. Please refer to your collective bargaining agreement for details.

Will the UC Retiree Health Program be the same for both retirement choice options?

Yes, the eligibility requirements and other program rules will be the same between the two options. Under the current program rules, 100% of the university’s contribution can be attained at age 65 with 20 or more years of actual time worked. See details about UC retiree health insurance.

How do the benefits under the UC Retirement Choice Program compare with other universities and employers?

Nationally, most employers, including universities and private sector businesses, don’t offer pension benefits and predominantly offer 401(k)-style plans. Within a sample of 26 universities analyzed as UC’s comparator institutions, only six offer a stand-alone pension plan. The rest offer either a combination of a pension with a 401(k)-style benefit; a choice between a pension and a 401(k)-style benefit; or a stand-alone 401(k)-style benefit.

About Pension Choice

How does Pension Choice work?

Pension Choice includes a pension benefit under the UC Retirement Plan (UCRP), offering a predictable level of lifetime retirement income. Your UCRP pension income is a percentage of your average eligible annual pay, or HAPC (highest average plan compensation), up to the PEPRA maximum ($118,775 in 2017). The percentage is based on your service credit and age at retirement. For a definition of HAPC and more information on how the pension benefit is calculated, see A Complete Guide to Your UC Retirement Benefits.

Along with the UCRP pension benefit, all designated faculty2, and eligible staff and other academic appointees with annual eligible pay above the PEPRA maximum, can build retirement savings through a supplemental 401(k)-style account.

You and UC share the cost of Pension Choice benefits.

Note that certain groups are not affected by the $118,775 PEPRA maximum. If you are in one of these groups, your pension benefit is based on annual eligible pay1 up to the IRS maximum ($270,000 in 2017), and therefore you will not be eligible for the supplemental 401(k)-style account.

What do I contribute to Pension Choice?

You contribute 7% of your eligible pay, before taxes. Your contributions on pay up to the PEPRA maximum (if it applies to you) will go toward funding the UCRP pension benefit. Contributions on pay above the PEPRA maximum up to the annual IRS pay maximum ($270,000 for 2017) will go into your supplemental account and can be invested as you direct (see “investment decisions” FAQ).3

What does UC contribute to Pension Choice?

If your salary is not subject to the PEPRA maximum (see “eligible pay maximums” FAQ), UC contributes 8% of annual eligible pay up to the IRS maximum to UCRP to fund your pension benefits.

If the PEPRA maximum does apply to you, UC contributes:

  • Pension: 8% of eligible pay up to the PEPRA maximum.3
  • Supplemental account for designated faculty2: 5% on all eligible pay up to the IRS pay maximum.3
  • Supplemental account for staff and other eligible academic appointees and staff: 3% on eligible pay above the PEPRA maximum, up to the IRS pay maximum.3

How do I know whether I am eligible for the 5% supplemental account contribution?

You are eligible for a 5% UC contribution to a supplemental account (on all eligible pay up to the annual IRS maximum) if you are among the following designated faculty groups:

  • Ladder-rank faculty and equivalent titles (Professorial and Equivalent titles, which include Agronomists, Astronomers, Clinical Professor of Dentistry [over 50%] and Supervisor of Physical Education)
  • 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

Certain employees are not subject to the PEPRA maximum, and are not eligible for a supplemental account contribution. See “eligible pay maximums” FAQ for more information.

Are faculty members who hold administrative positions eligible for the 5% supplemental contribution?

Yes, if they are hired on or after July 1, 2016, in a designated faculty title2. This includes academic appointees with two titles, including one qualifying title, and academic administrators with an underlying designated active faculty appointment. For example, an administrator with a 0% salary designated faculty appointment will receive the supplemental contribution for designated faculty.

Who makes investment decisions under Pension Choice?

UC makes decisions about the investments of the UC Retirement Plan (UCRP) and assumes the investment risk.

If you are eligible for the supplemental account, you select the investments from available fund options and you assume the investment risk. If you do not select investments, all contributions to your account will be invested in the UC Pathway Fund closest to the year you turn age 65. You will have the right to change your investments at any time. You can find details about the UC Pathway Funds and other options in the menu of funds on myUCretirement.com.

For help with your investment decisions, call a Retirement Planner at (800) 558-9182 or schedule an in-person meeting at getguidance.fidelity.com/universityofcalifornia. This service is available at no cost to you.

When do my Pension Choice benefits vest?

You will “vest” in UCRP (become eligible to receive pension benefits, subject to plan rules) once you have earned five years of UCRP service credit. You begin to earn service credit for your time worked when you start making contributions.

If you are eligible for the supplemental account, your individual contributions to your supplemental account will vest immediately. UC’s contributions to the supplemental account will vest after you have earned five years of UCRP service credit.

When does vesting service start?

You begin to earn UCRP service credit for your time worked when you start making contributions under the Pension Choice option.

How are Pension Choice benefits paid?

When you retire, you will receive lifetime monthly retirement income from UCRP — calculated as a percentage of your average eligible annual pay, or HAPC (highest average plan compensation), up to the PEPRA maximum ($118,775 in 2017). The percentage is based on your service credit and age at retirement. For a definition of HAPC and more information on how the pension benefit is calculated, see A Complete Guide to Your UC Retirement Benefits.

UCRP also includes benefits for your eligible survivors, as well as disability income if you become totally and permanently disabled before retirement.

If you have a supplemental account, you will be able to draw retirement income from that account when you retire. Distributions are governed by plan rules. Remember that the balance of your supplemental account will depend on the amount contributed by you and UC, and on the performance of the investments you select. Remaining supplemental account funds may be left to your beneficiaries.

What happens to my Pension Choice benefit if I leave UC?

If you leave UC and you are vested in your Pension Choice benefits, you remain eligible for UCRP lifetime monthly retirement income payments upon reaching retirement age, provided you leave your UCRP contributions on deposit with UCRP. You will be eligible to take monthly UCRP payments once you reach at least age 55 and are no longer working for UC.

If you have a supplemental account balance when you leave UC employment, you can keep your money working for you by leaving it in your account, as long as your vested balance is at least $2,000. When you reach age 70 1/2 generally you must start receiving minimum required distributions from your account. You may also roll your balance over to another employer’s plan or IRA. Alternatively, you can take a distribution and pay applicable taxes (and, potentially, an early distribution penalty depending upon your age at the time of the distribution). See A Complete Guide to Your UC Retirement Benefits for Plan rules.

Where do the supplemental account contributions go?

If you are eligible for supplemental account contributions, an account will be opened for you in the University of California Defined Contribution Plan, one of the three savings plans under the UC Retirement Savings Program. All supplemental contributions will be made to your account.

Where are the supplemental account contributions invested?

You select the investments for your supplemental account from a menu of available funds. If you do not select investments, all contributions to your supplemental account will be invested in the UC Pathway Fund closest to the year you turn 65. You can find details about the UC Pathway Funds and other options in the menu of funds on myUCretirement.com.

To select investments for your supplemental account in the Defined Contribution Plan, go to myUCretirement.com and select 'Change Investments' under the 'UC Retirement Savings Program Transactions' menu.

Savings Choice option

How does the Savings Choice option work?

Savings Choice works much like a 401(k) plan, with costs shared by you and UC. Your mandatory pretax contributions, contributions from UC (based on your eligible pay1) and any investment earnings accumulate in a tax-deferred retirement account.

What do I contribute to Savings Choice?

You contribute 7% of your annual eligible pay, up to the annual IRS pay maximum ($270,000 for 2017).3

What does UC contribute to Savings Choice?

UC contributes 8% of your annual eligible pay, up to the annual IRS pay maximum ($270,000 for 2017).3

Where do the Savings Choice contributions go?

If you select Savings Choice, an account will be opened for you in the University of California Defined Contribution Plan, one of the three savings plans under the UC Retirement Savings Program. All Savings Choice contributions will be made to that account.

Who makes investment decisions under Savings Choice?

Under Savings Choice, you select how to invest the contributions made to your account from a menu of available funds and you assume the investment risk. UC provides tools and resources to help you understand how to plan and invest for retirement. If you do not select investments, all contributions to your account will be invested in the UC Pathway Fund closest to the year you turn age 65. You will have the right to change your investments at any time. You can find details about the UC Pathway Funds and other options in the menu of funds on myUCretirement.com.

Since you are responsible for investing funds in your account, it’s important for you to match your investments to your investing style and risk tolerance. For help with your investment decisions, call a Retirement Planner at 800-558-9182 or schedule an in-person meeting at getguidance.fidelity.com/universityofcalifornia. This service is available at no cost to you.

To select investments for your account in the Defined Contributions Plan, go to myUCretirement.com and select 'Change Investments' under the 'UC Retirement Savings Program Transactions' menu.

What does it mean to “assume the investment risk” for my retirement balance?

Under Savings Choice, you manage your account’s investments, and the investments you choose have the potential to increase or decrease in value. That’s because all investing involves some risk, regardless of the state of the economy, and no investment is protected completely from loss. Even very conservative investments carry the risk that they may not earn enough over time to keep pace with the increasing cost of living.

How much risk you take generally depends on how much volatility you can tolerate. You can think of volatility as a change in the value of your investment account, and your risk tolerance as how comfortable you are when it changes. A major factor to consider when determining your risk tolerance is the amount of time remaining before you begin withdrawals from your investment account.

UC offers you one-on-one, personal help with your retirement benefits decisions. You can meet with a Retirement Planner to learn how to take your retirement timeline and risk tolerance into account when you make your investment decisions. This service is available at no cost to you. Call (800) 558-9182 or schedule an in-person meeting at getguidance.fidelity.com/universityofcalifornia.

When do my Savings Choice benefits vest?

Your contributions to your account will vest immediately. UC’s contributions will vest after one year, provided you are employed by UC on that date. Distributions are governed by plan rules.

How are Savings Choice benefits paid?

When you retire, you can draw money from your account. Your account balance will depend on the amount contributed by you and UC and the performance of your investments. Distributions are governed by plan rules.

Do Savings Choice benefits include survivor or disability benefits?

Savings Choice does not include disability or survivor benefits, but remaining funds can be left to your beneficiaries. Employee-paid disability coverage is available to active employees. Only Pension Choice includes the option of disability and survivor benefits.

Can I borrow or withdraw money from my account while I am working for UC?

Your Savings Choice account does not offer loans, and you cannot withdraw any of your pretax contributions in your Savings Choice account while you are working for UC.

What happens to my Savings Choice account if I leave UC?

When you leave UC employment, you can keep your money working for you by leaving it in your account, as long as your vested balance is at least $2,000, subject to the IRS minimum required distribution rules. You may also roll it over, or transfer the balance, to another employer’s plan or IRA. Alternatively, you can take a distribution and pay applicable taxes (and, potentially, an early distribution penalty depending upon your age at the time of the distribution).

Choosing your retirement option

When do I need to choose an option?

You have 90 days from your date of hire, or your qualifying appointment eligibility date, to choose your primary retirement option. However, it pays to enroll as soon as you've decided. If you wait until the deadline, you lose up to three months of UC contributions (and service credit under Pension Choice).

What is my “eligibility date”?

For most new hires, your eligibility date is your hire date. However, in some cases, your eligibility date may differ. If you are uncertain about your eligibility date, please contact your benefits office.

I’ve been working at UC for a little while, and I just became eligible for a choice of primary retirement benefits. When does my 90-day enrollment window start?

Your 90-day selection window begins on the date you become eligible for retirement benefits. Please contact your benefits office to confirm your exact eligibility date.

I was hired in June, but my appointment won’t begin for several months. When does my 90-day enrollment window start?

Your 90-day selection window begins on the effective date of your new appointment, or on the date you are entered into the payroll system, if later. Please contact your benefits office to confirm your exact eligibility date.

What if I make a choice, but then I change my mind? Can I go back into the system and change my election within my 90-day enrollment window?

No. Your enrollment window closes once you submit a choice. Be sure to take advantage of the many educational and counseling opportunities available to you so that you can make an informed choice.

What happens if I don’t choose an option?

If you don’t make a choice, you automatically will be enrolled in the Pension Choice option when your 90-day selection window ends. Even if you know Pension Choice is right for you, though, it pays to enroll as soon as possible. If you wait 90 days to default into Pension Choice, you lose up to three months of UC contributions and service credit — delaying vesting and decreasing your benefits.

How do I name my beneficiaries for my retirement benefits?

If you select Pension Choice:

  • You can name a beneficiary for the UC Retirement Plan (UCRP) by signing in to AYS (At Your Service) Online.
  • If you are eligible for supplemental account contributions, you will also need to name a beneficiary for your account in the UC Defined Contribution Plan. Go to myUCretirement.com and select 'Update Beneficiaries' under the 'UC Retirement Savings Program Transactions' menu. Select the Defined Contribution Plan (or DCP) and enter the names of your beneficiaries and the percentage of your account each should receive.
  • Please note that these processes are separate and independent. If you’d like, you may designate different beneficiaries for UCRP benefits and your supplemental account.

If you select Savings Choice:

  • You will also need to name a beneficiary for your account in the UC Defined Contribution Plan. Go to myUCretirement.com and select 'Update Beneficiaries' under the 'UC Retirement Savings Program Transactions' menu. Select the Defined Contribution Plan (or DCP) and enter the names of your beneficiaries and the percentage of your account each should receive.

Keep in mind that you can change your beneficiary designations as often as you wish.

Which option is best for me?

Only you can decide. Be sure to consider many factors, including your age, the length of time you expect to work for UC, your personal financial situation, your investing style and risk tolerance, and how much retirement income you expect from other sources (e.g., Social Security).

In general, Pension Choice may appeal to you if you:

  • Expect to work for UC for most of your career.
  • Want predictable retirement income payments.

You may want to consider Savings Choice if you:

  • Want a portable retirement benefit that can be rolled over into an IRA or another retirement plan if you leave UC.
  • Are comfortable choosing and managing your retirement investments.

Many people don’t understand investing or know how to properly plan for retirement. Is there anything in the new program that addresses this?

Yes. Under the new program, all UC employees will be offered a full range of educational resources at no cost to you, including personal retirement counseling, as part of UC’s commitment to help its employees understand their retirement options and be ready for retirement.

Can I talk to someone to get help understanding my choices?

UC offers you one-on-one, personal help with your retirement benefits decisions. Meet with a Retirement Planner by phone or in person, when and where it’s convenient for you. This service is available at no cost to you. Just call (800) 558-9182 or go to getguidance.fidelity.com/universityofcalifornia.

Are classes on the choice available at my location?

Yes. You can attend an onsite class or webinar — available at no cost to you — to learn about your retirement benefit options, understand how to make your choice and get answers to your questions. A schedule of upcoming classes and webinars is available at myUCretirement.com/classes.

Is there some way I could compare how my retirement benefits might grow over time with each option?

Yes. Go to myUCretirement.com/choose and try our interactive modeler. You can enter your age, salary and job type to see a comparison of how your retirement benefits may grow over time with each option. Note that this is a hypothetical comparison of estimated present values, for illustration only, and does not guarantee future benefits. Your own experience will differ.

Where can I go to find more details on the choice?

UCnet is your source for information about UC benefits. You’ll find videos, fact sheets, and FAQs about your retirement plan options here, as well as tools and resources, information about the university, and more.

What are the steps for enrolling in Pension Choice or Savings Choice once I've made my decision?

This step-by-step guide to enrolling in Pension Choice or Savings Choice can walk you through the enrollment process.

Can I change my option in the future if my situation changes?

UC is requesting IRS approval to offer employees hired on or after July 1, 2016, a one-time future opportunity to change from Savings Choice to Pension Choice. Enrollment in Pension Choice is irrevocable. The timing of the one-time future opportunity to switch to Pension Choice may depend on job type.

If I change from Savings Choice to Pension Choice, how would that affect my pension vesting and my retirement benefits?

If UC’s request is approved, here is what would happen if you switch from Savings Choice to Pension Choice:

  • The time spent in Savings Choice will count toward vesting in Pension Choice benefits. Service credit toward Pension Choice benefits will begin to accrue at the point you switch to Pension Choice. For example, if you switch from Savings Choice to Pension Choice after five years with UC, you would be immediately vested in the Pension Choice benefits you accrue going forward.
  • After the switch, the accumulated balances in your Savings Choice account will remain in your account, subject to the distribution rules in the Defined Contribution Plan.
  • The timing of the one-time future opportunity to switch to Pension Choice may depend on job type.

Will Pension Choice or Savings Choice provide me with enough income in retirement?

Only you can determine that. In addition to your primary retirement benefits, you may need to save additional money to prepare for retirement. UC’s 403(b) and 457(b) pretax savings plans and the after-tax account in the Defined Contribution Plan can help you build additional retirement savings to augment your primary UC retirement benefits, Social Security, and other non-UC retirement income.

With the exception of certain student employees, UC employees can enroll in voluntary savings plans at any time.

If you want help gauging your retirement readiness with Pension Choice or Savings Choice, we encourage you to meet one-on-one with a Retirement Planner, at no cost to you. Call (800) 558-9182 to meet today or schedule an in-person meeting at getguidance.fidelity.com/universityofcalifornia.

How do I know if my plan choice went through correctly?

When you make your choice, you will receive a confirmation statement detailing your choice and other key information. You will be able to print your statement or save it to your computer. It will also be saved on myUCretirement.com so you can refer to it in the future.

When will I see the first deduction for the retirement option I selected in my paycheck?

Your contributions will begin as soon as administratively possible after you make your choice — generally, within one to two pay periods.

Information for current employees

Will the new retirement benefits affect current employees/retirees or their pension benefits?

No. The new benefits changes apply only to employees hired, or rehired, on or after July 1, 2016. There will be no changes to the pension benefits of current employees or retirees — accrued pension benefits are protected by law and cannot be reduced or revoked.

Will current employees have the option of switching their existing benefits to either of the new options?

No. The new benefit options apply only to employees hired on or after July 1, 2016.


1 Some types of compensation not considered “eligible pay” when calculating retirement benefits are:

  • 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 more about eligible pay, see A Complete Guide to Your UC Retirement Benefits.

2 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 Education)
  • 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

3 Employer and employee contribution rates are set periodically by the UC Regents. The total UC contribution rate to UCRP is currently 14%, which includes approximately 6% toward UC’s unfunded pension liability.