Retired Member FAQ

Q: How can I find out who I designated as beneficiary on my SFERS account?

A: If you are not sure who is currently designated as beneficiary, we recommend you designate a new beneficiary on your SFERS account. Download the Designation of Beneficiary Form from our website and mail the completed and notarized form to SFERS at 1145 Market Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103.

Q: Will I get a COLA every year that I am retired?

A: Generally, yes. Retired members may receive a Basic COLA—an automatic adjustment to your monthly retirement allowance—effective July 1st of each year and payable to eligible members on the check dated July 31st. You may find additional information about COLA provisions here.

Q: Why did the amount of my monthly benefit change?

A: There may be several reasons why your monthly benefit amount would have changed. If the change occurred to your July 31st allowance, you may have received a Basic COLA. If the change occurred to your February 28th (or 29th) allowance, you may have received a Supplemental COLA (click here for information about COLA provisions). Adjustments to tax withholding or deductions for health premiums may also affect the amount of your monthly allowance. To verify any changes to your monthly benefit, contact the Retirement System at 415-487-7000.

Q: My father was receiving a SFERS pension when he died, who do I notify of his passing?

A: To notify SFERS of a member’s death, you can contact us at 415-487-7044.

Q: Do my health benefits cover me and my spouse?

A: Your entitlement to health benefits is administered under the City’s Health Services System (HSS). Visit the HSS website at, or contact HSS at (628) 652-4700 to inquire about health benefits.

Q: Do you mail pension checks outside the US?

A: Yes, but members must allow for delays and SFERS cannot guarantee prompt delivery of your check.

Q: When do you make the monthly pension payments?

A: Your pension allowance is payable on the last day of each month. The payment covers the period from the first day of the month to the last day of the month. If you sign up for direct deposit, your monthly allowance will generally post to your bank account no later than the evening of the payment authorization date (last day of the month). If you receive your benefit by physical check, your check will be delivered through the mail.

Q: For how long will I receive my pension?

A: Your pension will be paid to you throughout your lifetime.

Q: Can I work while I am retired without affecting my SFERS benefit?

A: Yes. Once you have retired from the City you can work for any employer other than the City with limited restrictions. You can return to work for the City in a non-benefited position, however, you are limited to working no more than 960 hours in any fiscal year without affecting your pension benefit. Certain employment restrictions apply to disability retirees. For additional information about “work after retirement” provisions, refer to your Summary of Key Plan Provisions.

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