As certificated public school employees we pay into the California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS). This retirement pension system guarantees you a defined benefit after you retire. CalSTRS is no longer sending a yearly Retirement Progress Report to your home address; you must access it on their website. Start by registering on mycalstrs.com (click on "Register Now" under the "Set Up Your Account" heading off to the right) and accessing your Retirement Progress Report. Each year this is updated with information about your most current year of contributions.
STRS Reduced Workload
Certificated employees are eligible to participate in a reduced workload (aka. early retirement or "Willie Brown") program. Unit members can earn one year of full time STRS credit for a partial workload.
The employee and the employer must pay the full year of retirement contributions.
The employee must work a minimum of 50% of the contractual year.
The employee must be at least 55 years old and no more than the mandatory retirement age.
The employee must have completed at least 10 years of full-time certificated service in the EGUSD, including the preceding 5 years.
Applications are due in writing to the Human Resources Department and site administrators no later than May 15th of the previous year.
Employees may participate in this program for up to 5 years of part-time status.
The employee's salary will be the percentage of their contractual workload.
Read more about the STRS reduced workload in Article 17 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The Elk Grove Benefit Employee Retirement Trust (EGBERT) is a tremendous benefit for EGUSD employees. The EGBERT fund has accumulated monies which will be used to pay for Elk Grove Unified School District retirees’ health benefits. The monies are placed into a joint labor management trust where they are invested until such time as they are needed to pay for retiree health premiums. The amount of premiums paid on behalf of all the retirees depends upon the amount of funds available to the EGBERT Board to allocate for premium costs.
CTA/NEA Retired is an advocacy group for retirees and issues related to retirement. Retirees as well as current members are entitled to join. Current CTA members can buy a lifetime membership. Membership to CTA/NEA retired covers you should you decide to substitute teach in retirement or require access to legal counsel for employment and personal matters. Additionally members have access to some of the benefits of membership that active CTA members have including travel discounts, continuation of life insurance, credit union, and home and auto insurance just to name a few.
The California Retired Teachers Association is a group actively advocating for retired educators' pension as well as other issues that are important to retirees. Learn more about CalRTA HERE.
Tax Deferred Retirement Investment Accounts (403b & 457)
As a public school employee, you pay into the California State Teacher Retirement System (CalSTRS), which will provide you a defined benefit upon your retirement. Depending on the lifestyle you will want in retirement, you might consider additional opportunities to make investments that would supplement your CalSTRS retirement income. There are many options for retirement investment that you should research. In particular, you might consider options such as employer based tax deferred investment opportunities, such as a 403b or 457, or an after tax investment, such as a Roth product.
If you are interested in more information about employer based tax deferral products, you can visit the District website HERE. Click the + sign next to the section titled Tax Deferred Programs, you will get an expanded menu. Then click on the Notice of Eligibility to participate in Tax Deferred Programs to get information about some of the differences between the possible options, such as a 403b or 457.
ALWAYS do your homework before committing to a specific product. Visit the website 403bcompare.com to help you research which company and product might be the best investment for you. Both 403 and 457 products are listed on this site. There you can find objective information about various products and services including fees, penalties, and/or regulations.
You can also visit the CTA Invest website which includes information about financial planning and retirement, including steps to take in your 20s, 30s, 40s, etc. You can also read the publication Closing The Gap which discusses 403b and 457 plans in more detail.
The Securities and Exchange Commission also has information for educators on their website at https://www.sec.gov/teachers.