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UC Retirement Choice (UCRP 2016 Tier)

For employees hired July 1, 2016, and after who are subject to the maximum on pensionable earnings under the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act (PEPRA).

When it comes to choosing your primary (required) retirement benefits, you have two options — Pension Choice or Savings Choice. The sooner you enroll, the sooner you start receiving UC contributions and service credit.

Both options are designed to provide retirement income in addition to Social Security benefits and any retirement savings you may have. 

If you enroll in Savings Choice, you will have a “second choice window” to switch from Savings Choice to Pension Choice after five years. Enrollment in Pension Choice cannot be revoked. Whether you select Pension Choice, are enrolled in Pension Choice after 90 days, or switch to Pension Choice during your second choice window, you may not change your participation from Pension Choice to Savings Choice.


You are eligible for a choice of primary retirement benefits if you:

  • Are hired into an eligible faculty or career staff appointment on or after July 1, 2016; OR
  • Are hired in an ineligible position on or after July 1, 2016, and then become eligible for retirement benefits.

Are you represented by a union?

Your retirement benefits are governed by your union’s contract with UC. As a result, your benefits may be different than the benefits outlined here. Please refer to your collective bargaining agreement for details.

For example, if you are in an eligible appointment represented by AFSCME, CNA, FUPOA or UPTE, you are automatically enrolled in what is referred to as the UCRP Modified 2013 Tier.

Did you work for UC before July 1, 2016, or are you a CalPERS “Classic Member”?

Read more about different rules that may apply to your retirement benefits.


See below for definitions of some of the terms used on this page.

Compare your options

Pension Choice offers a UCRP pension benefit with a supplemental 401(k)-style component for employees who are eligible.

Savings Choice offers a stand-alone 401(k)-style account.

For both options, once you enroll

  • Required pretax contributions of 7% of your eligible pay (up to the IRS maximum) are deducted from your paycheck; your contributions belong to you. 
  • UC contributes to your retirement benefits. 
  • You earn service credit toward UC’s retiree health benefits. 

Read A Complete Guide to Your UC Retirement Benefits (PDF) for details and see below to make sure you understand a few very important differences.

Making your choice

The sooner you decide which option is best for you — Pension Choice or Savings Choice — the sooner you start accruing retirement benefits. You have 90 days from your retirement option eligibility date to choose a primary retirement benefit; your enrollment window closes once you submit a choice. If you don’t choose a primary retirement option, you automatically will be enrolled in Pension Choice at the end of the 90-day period.

Once you’ve decided which option is best for you, making your choice is fast and easy.

Make your choice: the sooner the better!

If you miss the 90-day deadline, you’ll be enrolled in Pension Choice with no option to switch later. And you don’t receive UC contributions or service credit until you enroll or you default into Pension Choice, so every day counts.

New to UC?

Welcome! Check out our benefits roadmap for new employees and attend a UCPath benefits orientation webinar.

Represented by a union?

Your benefits are negotiated between UC and your union. See your bargaining unit’s contract for details.