Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Overview

Active Employees

2020 Stock Market Volatility

How does the condition of the stock market affect my retirement benefit?

Although the benefits are paid based on Member contributions, the City contributions, and LACERS’ investments returns, your retirement benefit is calculated based on a set formula: Retirement Factor X Service Credit X Final Average Compensation.  Fluctuations in the stock market do not impact the amount of monthly benefits you receive.

Should I wait to retire?

The decision to retire depends on each Member’s situation and readiness.  Please contact us on our main line at (800) 779-8328 to inquire about retirement eligibility or assistance running a retirement estimate.

How does the condition of the stock market affect my Larger Annuity account?

If you elected the five-year Treasury Note option, your return is based on the performance of the five-year Treasury Note.  If you elected LACERS publicly-traded asset option, your return is based on LACERS publicly traded asset performance, which may be impacted by the market fluctuations.

What happens if LACERS runs out of money?

It would be nearly impossible for LACERS to run out of money since funding of the plan comes from 3 sources: required annual contributions from the City, required bi-weekly contributions from employees, and investment returns.  Funding levels of the plan on routinely monitored to ensure LACERS ability to provide retirement benefits over the long term.

Historically, what happened with LACERS investments when the stock market “crashed”?

The value of LACERS portfolio also declined, but less so than the stock market.  This is due to the portfolio diversification across different types of investments such as stocks, bonds, and real estate.  In other words, LACERS does not put all of its eggs in one basket.  Diversification helps ensure that sufficient assets are available to provide retirement benefits over the long term.

Address Changes

How do I update my mailing address with LACERS?

LACERS receives your mailing address through the City’s payroll system. If you’ve updated your address through your department’s Personnel Section, it will automatically be updated in LACERS’ system.

If you are no longer employed by the City of Los Angeles, but still have funds in your LACERS account, submit LACERS’ Change of Address request, available here.

Beneficiaries

How do I designate my Beneficiary?

Beneficiary information on file with Employee Benefits is not automatically shared with LACERS. To update your beneficiary, submit a designation of beneficiary form. Download the form and read additional important information about designating beneficiaries on the Designating Beneficiaries page.

How can I view my Beneficiaries on file?

Click here to log into your MyLACERS account to view your beneficiaries on file.

Buybacks/Service Credit Purchases

How can I purchase time to increase my retirement benefit?

If you are interesting in purchasing time with LACERS, your process will vary depending on the type of time you have available to purchase. 

Visit Supplementing Your Retirement for more information.

Divorce/Dissolution of Marriage

Do I need to submit my divorce decree to LACERS?

LACERS will require a copy of your final judgement. Please visit the page on divorce for more information.

Domestic Partnership

Employee Benefits has my Domestic Partnership information. Do I need to submit information to LACERS also?

Filing a Declaration of Domestic Partnership with Personnel Department, Employee Benefits section is not sufficient to cover the administration of benefits with LACERS. Please visit the Domestic Partnership page for more details.

Early Retirement Incentive Program (ERIP)

What is the total number of ERIP participants?

There are 2,400 ERIP participants.

What is the ERIP Cost Obligation?

The ERIP Cost Obligation is the full cost of ERIP as defined in the Los Angeles Administrative Code section 4.1033 (“ERIP Ordinance”).  The ERIP Ordinance states that the ERIP Cost Obligation is the obligation of LACERS Members, and that the City and Unions envisioned ERIP to be cost-neutral to the City.

How was the ERIP Cost Obligation determined?

The preliminary ERIP Cost Obligation was determined by an enrollment actuary engaged by the City, pursuant to requirements of the Los Angeles City Charter section 1168 (b), which specifies that the City Council must be advised in writing of the cost of benefit increases prior to adoption of an ordinance to change the LACERS benefit(s).

The City’s Consulting Actuary provided cost estimates of ERIP based on various scenarios projecting “take” rates of eligible employees.  Preliminary projected costs ranged from $250 million to retire 2,229 employees, up to $354 million to retire 2,763.  The ERIP Ordinance adopted a preliminary cost of $271M to retire 2,400 employees.

However, based on the LACERS actuarial valuation report of June 30, 2009 (revised April 22, 2010), the unfunded actuarial accrued liability increased by $355 million when factoring in nearly all ERIP retirees (2,393 of the 2,400 ERIP retirees were finalized at the time of the report).

What is the time period by which the ERIP Cost Obligation should be paid?

According to the ERIP Ordinance, the employee contributions toward the ERIP Cost Obligation begin on July 1, 2011 and end on June 30, 2026 (a 15-year period), or until the ERIP Cost Obligation is fully paid, whichever comes first.

How much money to date, has been paid by LACERS’ Active and Retired Members toward paying off the ERIP Cost Obligation?

As of December 31, 2019, over $197.4 million has been paid toward the $355 million ERIP Cost Obligation.  The pace of contributions toward ERIP are expected to decline slightly as the number of active Tier 1 Members retire.  New LACERS Members joining the City, currently enter under Tier 3 Membership and do not contribute to ERIP.

Medicare

I am already over age 65 but I am still working for the City. Do I need to apply for Medicare? 

If you are still working at age 65 and are covered by the City’s (“Active”) medical plan, you can defer enrollment in Medicare until you retire. During your retirement process, LACERS Staff will provide you with additional documentation to take to Social Security to waive any late enrollment penalties.

For additional information on Medicare after retirement, please visit the Retirees Medicare Information page.

Retirement

How do I request a retirement estimate?

Log in to your MyLACERS account to use the Benefit Estimate tool, or contacting LACERS’ Member Service Center at (800) 779-8328.

How do I schedule my appointment to retire?

For information on scheduling your counseling session, visit this page.

Seminars

How do I register for a Seminar?

Visit the Calendar to find upcoming Tier 1 or Tier 3 seminars, and register by logging in to your MyLACERS account, or contacting LACERS’ Member Service Center at (800) 779-8328.

Time (Sick, Vacation, etc.)

What happens to my SK/VC when I retire? Does LACERS pay me out?

LACERS is not involved with the disbursement of these benefits.

Sick, Vacation, or Holiday time payouts after retirement are paid from the Controller’s Office. Questions regarding these benefits should be directed to your department personnel.

Retirees

2020 Stock Market Volatility

How does the condition of the stock market affect my retirement benefit?

Although the benefits are paid based on Member contributions, the City contributions, and LACERS’ investments returns, your retirement benefit is calculated based on a set formula: Retirement Factor X Service Credit X Final Average Compensation.  Fluctuations in the stock market do not impact the amount of monthly benefits you receive.

How does the condition of the stock market affect my Larger Annuity account?

Fluctuations in the public investment markets do not impact the payout amount of Larger Annuity monthly benefits you receive.

What happens if LACERS runs out of money?

It would be nearly impossible for LACERS to run out of money since funding of the plan comes from 3 sources: required annual contributions from the City, required bi-weekly contributions from employees, and investment returns.  Funding levels of the plan on routinely monitored to ensure LACERS ability to provide retirement benefits over the long term.

Historically, what happened with LACERS investments when the stock market “crashed”?

The value of LACERS portfolio also declined, but less so than the stock market.  This is due to the portfolio diversification across different types of investments such as stocks, bonds, and real estate.  In other words, LACERS does not put all of its eggs in one basket.  Diversification helps ensure that sufficient assets are available to provide retirement benefits over the long term.

Address Change

How do I change my address with LACERS? 
Visit Change of Residence for more information.

Award Letter/Pension Verification

I am applying for a loan/housing and the company is requesting verification of my pension or retirement account. What should I do?

Please visit the Benefit Verification Request page for more information about requesting an Award Letter of your benefit.

Direct Deposit

How do I update my Direct Deposit account information?

Please visit Your Benefit Payment page for the Direct Deposit Authorization form, and for more information.

Early Retirement Incentive Program (ERIP)

What is the total number of ERIP participants?

There are 2,400 ERIP participants.

What is the ERIP Cost Obligation?

The ERIP Cost Obligation is the full cost of ERIP as defined in the Los Angeles Administrative Code section 4.1033 (“ERIP Ordinance”).  The ERIP Ordinance states that the ERIP Cost Obligation is the obligation of LACERS Members, and that the City and Unions envisioned ERIP to be cost-neutral to the City.

How was the ERIP Cost Obligation determined?

The preliminary ERIP Cost Obligation was determined by an enrollment actuary engaged by the City, pursuant to requirements of the Los Angeles City Charter section 1168 (b), which specifies that the City Council must be advised in writing of the cost of benefit increases prior to adoption of an ordinance to change the LACERS benefit(s).

The City’s Consulting Actuary provided cost estimates of ERIP based on various scenarios projecting “take” rates of eligible employees.  Preliminary projected costs ranged from $250 million to retire 2,229 employees, up to $354 million to retire 2,763.  The ERIP Ordinance adopted a preliminary cost of $271M to retire 2,400 employees.

However, based on the LACERS actuarial valuation report of June 30, 2009 (revised April 22, 2010), the unfunded actuarial accrued liability increased by $355 million when factoring in nearly all ERIP retirees (2,393 of the 2,400 ERIP retirees were finalized at the time of the report).

What is the time period by which the ERIP Cost Obligation should be paid?

According to the ERIP Ordinance, the employee contributions toward the ERIP Cost Obligation begin on July 1, 2011 and end on June 30, 2026 (a 15-year period), or until the ERIP Cost Obligation is fully paid, whichever comes first.

How much money to date, has been paid by LACERS’ Active and Retired Members toward paying off the ERIP Cost Obligation?

As of December 31, 2019, over $197.4 million has been paid toward the $355 million ERIP Cost Obligation.  The pace of contributions toward ERIP are expected to decline slightly as the number of active Tier 1 Members retire.  New LACERS Members joining the City, currently enter under Tier 3 Membership and do not contribute to ERIP.

Health Plan Changes (Medical and Dental)

When can I make changes to my Medical or Dental plan?

Please visit Health Enrollment page for information about Open Enrollment, and other qualifying events where you may 

ID Cards (Medical and Dental)

I haven’t received my new Medical/Dental ID card. Who do I contact?

ID Cards are issued by the insurance carrier. Please refer to the last page/back cover of the Health Benefits Guide for each carrier’s contact phone number.

The Health Benefits Guide is located on this page.

Medicare

I will be turning 65. What do I need to do?

Members and dependents who turn 65 will need to contact the Social Security Administration to enroll in Medicare, then fill out and submit the appropriate Senior Plan Enrollment form and a copy of the Medicare card. Please visit the Retirees Medicare Information page for additional details.

Taxes

Do I still receive a W-2 Tax form after retirement?

LACERS Members receive a 1099-R for their retirement payments received for the year.

I did not receive my Tax form for the year. How can I obtain a copy?

Login to your MyLACERS Account to view and print a copy of your 1099-R tax forms, or contact LACERS Member Service Center at (800) 779-8328 to request one mailed to your address on file.

How do I change my Tax Withholding? 

Visit this page for more information on changing your tax withholding.

Do I have to pay taxes on my retirement allowance?

Your retirement income is taxable. LACERS Members have contributed to the plan on a pre-tax basis since 1986. Any contributions prior to 1986 were taxed, so any portion of your allowance that is based on pre-1986 contributions will not be subject to taxes.

MyLACERS

How do I create my MyLACERS Account?

MyLACERS enrollment requires that a PIN be sent to the Member’s mailing address on file in order to create the account. You can request a new PIN at the following link https://mylacers.lacers.org/RequestPIN.aspx.

The PIN letter will include step-by-step instructions on creating your account, and should be received in 3-5 business days. Once you receive your PIN, for further assistance with accessing your MyLACERS Account, please contact LACERS Member Service Center at (800) 779-8328.

How can I reset my MyLACERS password or challenge questions?

For assistance with accessing your MyLACERS Account, please contact LACERS Member Service Center at (800) 779-8328. Once your identity is verified, our staff will be able to assist a password reset, or security challenge questions reset.

I received an email about an Unrecognized Device accessing my Account. What do I do?

Any time you access your MyLACERS Account from a new device or location, you will be prompted to enter your Challenge Questions to access the account. This will also trigger an email to notify you that your account has been logged in using a new device.

If you do not recall accessing the account on the date and time you received the email, you may wish to reset your password to secure your account, otherwise you may disregard the email.

Two-Factor Authentication

What is two-factor authentication?

Two-factor authentication is when a user is required to provide a second means of proving they are who they claim to be.  The first authentication is the password used to login with a username.  The second authentication, such as an email or SMS message code, provides an additional layer of security to the account.

Log in

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