Separation Benefits

If you leave employment with the City and County of San Francisco, before you are qualified for service retirement, you have three options for your accumulated contributions: Vesting, Reciprocity, or Refund of Contributions.

Vesting

You may elect to “Vest” and leave your contributions with SFERS until you reach an age at which you become eligible to claim a vesting allowance, if…

 you leave employment with the City and County of San Francisco 
 you have five years or more of credited service with SFERS or in combination with SFERS and another  reciprocal system(s)
 you are not qualified for service retirement


To Elect Vesting 

  1. Log in to the secure member portal mySFERS, and select “Termination Option Request” under the “Profile” tab to access the SFERS Termination Options Form.
  2. You have 90 days from your separation date (your last day of employment) to make a vesting election.
  3. We require proof of separation by Emerge employment status or department issued Separation Report. An appointment is not required to make a vesting election.

You may claim your vesting benefit as early as age 50. See your “Summary of Key Plan Provisions” for vesting eligibility. An appointment is required to apply for a vesting allowance. access our online Retirement Appointment Scheduler via the secure member portal mySFERS.

Reciprocity

“Reciprocity” is an agreement between SFERS, CalPERS, and other eligible California public retirement systems which allows you to move from one retirement system to another without losing your benefits. Under reciprocity, you may combine credited service earned under each reciprocal retirement system to qualify for retirement in each plan.  See “Reciprocity” for conditions of eligibility.

To Elect Reciprocity

  1. Log in to the secure member portal mySFERS and select “Termination Options Request” under the Profile tab to access the SFERS Termination Options Form
  2. Complete the form as instructed.
  3. If you elect reciprocity, you must be separated completely from City employment before becoming a member in a new reciprocal plan (membership in more than one plan at the same time is not allowed)

For a current list of reciprocal retirement systems, visit the CalPERS website at www.calpers.ca.gov.

 SFERS does not have a reciprocal agreement with the University of California Retirement Plan, Judges Retirement System (JRS), Legislator’s Retirement System, State Teacher’s Retirement System, or Federal Employees’ Retirement System

Refund of Contributions

If you leave employment with the City and County of San Francisco, you can receive a full refund of your contributions if…

 you have less than five years of credited service with SFERS or in combination with SFERS and another  reciprocal system(s) and are not joining another reciprocal system
or
 you have five years or more of credited service with SFERS or in combination with SFERS and another  reciprocal system(s) and you elect not to vest or to retire for service from SFERS. If you have five (5) or more years  credited service, you must visit SFERS to speak with a Retirement Counselor before receiving a refund

 

Refunded contributions are subject to federal and/or state taxes. To defer paying taxes, you may elect to directly rollover your refunded contributions to another qualified plan or individual retirement account (401(k) or IRA).

To Elect a Refund of Contributions

  1. Log in to the secure member portal mySFERS, and select “Termination Option Request” under the “Profile” tab to access the SFERS Termination Options Form.
  2. You have 90 days from your separation date (your last day of employment) to request a refund of contributions.
  3. We require proof of separation by Emerge employment status or department issued Separation Report before we can start the refund process. An appointment is not required to request a refund of contributions.

Refunds are processed within eight (8) weeks from the latter of the refund request date, your separation date, or the date of your last paycheck.

Accepting a refund of your retirement contributions terminates your claim to any future benefit from the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System.  A refund may also impact your claim to CCSF retiree health benefits. Contact the Health Service System directly at 415-554-1750 prior to electing a refund.

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