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Active Member FAQs

Can I return to work for the City after I retire?
If you are receiving a Retirement Allowance from the Plan, you cannot be paid for working for the City unless:

  • You are an election officer, an elected officer of the City, or a retired Member of the LACERS Board of Administration
  • You have the Mayor's approval to work under special circumstances and your period of employment does not exceed 120 days in any fiscal year (see Exception for Temporary Service in Section 1164(b) of the City Charter for more details)
  • You work as a temporary election employee for no more than 120 days in a calendar year
  • You work as a contractor

In these cases, the payment of your Retirement Allowance will continue, but you will not contribute to the Plan or earn additional Service Credit.

Can I borrow against my retirement?
No.  The money you have in your retirement account is what secures your future retirement benefit from LACERS.  If you terminate City employment you have the option of closing your account and taking a refund of contributions and giving up your rights to future retirement benefits from LACERS.  For more information, please see the Termination Guide or the Summary Plan Description.

I am trying to refinance my home and the loan company is requesting information regarding my retirement account.  What should I do?
Before LACERS can release this information, we need to receive a signed written request from either you or the loan company.  If the request is sent by the loan company, they must attach a waiver form with your signature before we will process the request.  All requests should be sent directly to LACERS Member Processing Unit.

Will my Social Security Benefits be impacted by my LACERS benefits?
If you are eligible to receive Social Security payments, they may be impacted once you retire and begin receiving a retirement allowance from LACERS. For more information, please contact Social Security regarding the Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Pension Offset.

What happens if I die before retiring?
You can find more information about Survivor Benefits here. You may also want to consider the Family Death Benefit Program to find out other options for your survivors.

How do I update my address?
You need to contact your department's Personnel Unit to have them update the payroll system through the Form 41 process.

How can I buy back time?
If you are eligible to participate in a buyback program, your individual buyback process will vary depending the type of contract you have and which buyback process you go through.  For more information, please see the Reciprocity and Service Credit Purchases.

How will my sick and vacation time be paid out?
Your department is responsible for the pay out of sick and vacation time.

Can I increase my contributions towards my LACERS' retirement account?
You can receive a higher benefit by participating in Reciprocity or a Service Credit Purchase, if eligible.  Another option to increase your retirement income is to participate in the LACERS Larger Annuity Program or the City's Deferred Compensation Plan.

Can I get a retirement estimate? Yes.  You can contact LACERS at any time to request an estimate or you can click here to receive a rough estimate using our retirement allowance calculator .

How much do I currently have in my LACERS account?  Can I get a copy of my account information?
Your account information is available online at MyLACERS, or you can contact us and request a Member Statement.  Our contact information and office hours are located here.

How can I set up an appointment to retire?
When you are ready to retire, you should follow the steps outlined in the Planning to Retire section of our website.  To set up a counseling appointment, call us at (800) 779-8328 or TDD (888) 349-3996.

When is the best time to retire?
The best time to retire is when you want to retire. You may want to be on the payroll for the whole second pay period of the month to shorten the time period between your last paycheck to your first retirement allowance.

When can I retire?
We need to receive your application between 30 to 60 days before your effective date of retirement.

When do I get my sick and vacation pay?
About 6 weeks after your retirement date, your department will send a check for your vacation, half of your 100% and half of your 50% sick time not including any accrued sick time for the current year.

I have not completed the payments on my buyback contract. Can I continue to make payments even after I retire?
No. You must pay off your buyback contract before retirement or the service credit will be prorated according to the payments made. This rule applies to all types of contracts such as Government Service Buyback, Public Service Buyback, Worker's Compensation Buyback, Back Contributions Buyback, Re-deposits of Previously Withdrawn Contributions, Larger Annuity, and Section 4.1044 Buyback.

I already have direct deposit, will my retirement allowance go into the existing account?
No, you have to sign up for direct deposit separately with LACERS.

Will the deductions I have right now continue to come out of my retirement allowance?
No, you have to sign up for them separately.

When do I have to sign up for health & dental insurance again?
Within 60 days of your effective date of retirement. It's better to do it as soon as you can to make sure there'll be no lapse in coverage. Your active health coverage only carries you through the end of the month in which you retire.

Do I still have to pay taxes on my monthly retirement allowance?
You have to pay taxes on the portion of your retirement allowance that is based on the contributions that you made in 1986 or after. Your allowance based on your pre-1986 contributions were already taxed.

I will be moving to another state. Do I still have to pay California State tax?
You may still have California State tax liabilities and so you may choose to have LACERS continue your California State tax withholding. You may want to consult a tax professional if you have concerns about this issue.

When I retire, will my spouse/domestic partner also get a retirement check?
An eligible spouse or qualified domestic partner will receive a minimum of 50% continuance upon your death. Your spouse must be married to you at least one year prior to your effective date of retirement, on the date of retirement, and at time of death. For your qualified domestic partner to receive this benefit, you must have an affidavit of qualified domestic partnership on file at LACERS at least one year prior to your effective date of retirement which must still be in effect on the date of your retirement and at time of death.