Welcome to the Retirement webpage for City of Santa Rosa employees
Below is important information about planning for your retirement. Be sure to read through the resources and information provided and reference the Retirement Planning Checklist to help ensure a smooth transition into retirement.
The City of Santa Rosa participates in CalPERS. CalPERS recommends starting your retirement planning at least a year in advance. CalPERS has many resources available to help you understand your CalPERS benefits and help you in your retirement planning, see the CalPERS tab below for details and links.
Employees may be eligible for additional City of Santa Rosa benefits in retirement. Below is a table summarizing the type of retirement benefits by unit that may be available to you. More information is available in the Miscellaneous Employees Retirement Guide for those retiring from non-safety units.
Retirement Planning Timeline
Important! CalPERS and the City of Santa Rosa retirement dates are different.
DO NOT CONFUSE THE DATES:
Your City retirement date is your last working day. You must work on your last day.
Your CalPERS retirement day is the day after your last working day. This is the date on your CalPERS application.
- One year before retirement
- 5 - 9 Months prior to retirement
- 3 - 4 Months prior to retirement
- 1 - 2 Months prior to retirement
- Your final week of employment
3 - 4 Months Prior
Submit your completed CalPERS service retirement application and required documents to CalPERS.
The Guide to Completing Your CalPERS Retirement Election Application publication provides instructions for completing the CalPERS Service Retirement Election Application and other forms you may need to complete the retirement application process. You may also complete the application process through your personal myCalPERS account at my.calpers.ca.gov. Easy-to-follow instructions will guide you step-by-step through the online application. You can submit your paper or online application when you are within 120 days from your retirement date.
Contact the City of Santa Rosa Human Resources Department to determine eligibility for the City specific benefits that may be available to you in retirement.
Enroll in Medicare if you will be 65 years or older at retirement.
1 - 2 Months Prior
Submit required documents to the City of Santa Rosa or City of Santa Rosa benefits vendor as applicable
Sick Pay Conversion Form
Complete and submit to Human Resources at least two (2) weeks before your retirement date to enable Payroll to process your sick leave conversation by your retirement date
City of Santa Rosa Universal Health Benefits Form if you will be continuing your City-Kaiser or City-Anthem plan in retirement and will be under-65 the 1st of the month following the month of retirement. Submit to HR
Kaiser Senior Advantage Enrollment Form if you will be 65+ the 1st of the month following the month of retirement and wish to enroll in the City or Teamsters Kaiser Senior Advantage plan. Submit to HR
Express Scripts Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Benefit Election Form if you will be 65+ the 1st of the month following the month of retirement and wish to enroll in the City-Anthem Medicare plan. Submit to HR
Declination of coverage form if you will be declining to enroll in a City or Teamsters medical plan at retirement. Please note you will not be allowed to re-enroll at a later date.
The Standard Insurance Company Life Conversion Form if you wish to convert your basic and supplemental life insurance to a personal plan. Submit to The Standard at the address shown on the form. This must be received by The Standard within 31 days of your date of retirement.
Final Week of Employment
Return all City property (keys, credit card, etc.) to your Supervisor
Make arrangements with Human Resources for receiving your final paycheck. The options are:
Pick up at Human Resources, receive it in the mail, or receive it via direct deposit if previously set up with payroll.
Participate in your exit interview with Human Resources
- Medical Rates & Info.
- Social Security
- Deferred Comp.
- Final Paycheck
- Important Contact Information
Medical Rates & Information
Be sure to plan ahead in order to ensure that you have selected the medical insurance plan to best meet your retirement needs. When you retire, you will be required to remain with the plan in which you are participating on your last day of employment. Plan changes can only be made once a year, at a time designated by the City.
What Coverage Can Be Continued After Retirement?
Active coverage for all benefits ends on the last day of the month in which you retire. Medical coverage can be continued after retirement. The City does not offer retiree dental or vision coverage, but dental and vision continuation coverage is available through COBRA for up to 18 months following termination of active employment.
Medical Guidelines and Provisions
At the time of retirement, employees actively enrolled in a medical plan will have three (3) options:
o Decline retiree medical coverage. Employees declining retiree medical coverage will NOT have the option of enrolling at a later date.
o Enroll in retiree medical coverage
o Temporarily waive retiree medical insurance. This option is only allowed if you are going to be enrolled in another employer sponsored plan. If you should lose coverage in other employer sponsored plan, you have 30 days from the date of loss of coverage to re-enroll in the City’s retiree medical insurance plan you were enrolled in when you retired.
See the Retirement Guide, linked above, for further details.
To help you plan for your retirement from CalPERS, we have created this helpful resource directory:
• CalPERS website at www.calpers.ca.gov
• Your personal myCalPERS account at my.calpers.ca.gov
• Online and instructor-led retirement classes. Visit the CalPERS Member Education webpage for the most up-to-date information & Also check out this list of Member Education Classes (Coming Soon!)
• One-on-one retirement counseling
Questions? Contact CalPERS
If you are expecting to receive a pension based on work not covered by Social Security, it may reduce the amount of Social Security benefits you can be paid. See the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) Online Calculator to tell you how your benefits may be affected: Social Security calculator
Social Security and City Employees: While you have worked for the City of Santa Rosa, you have not been paying into Social Security. However, you may have contributed to Social Security in the past and it is important to know that the retirement benefit (such as CalPERS) you receive based on work with a government agency such as the City of Santa Rosa may reduce the amount of any Social Security benefits you may be qualified to receive.
How Does a Government Pension Affect my Social Security Benefits? If you worked in a job that was not covered under Social Security, e.g., some Federal, State, or local government employment, the pension you get based on your own work record may be reduced by the Windfall Elimination Provision. Additionally, if you are eligible for Social Security based on your spouse’s social security (or as a widow or widower), that amount will be reduced according the Government Offset Provision.
By law, the City of Santa Rosa medical plans are considered the “Primary Payer” and Medicare as a “Secondary Payer” (except for employees with End-Stage Renal Disease starting with the 31st month after the start of Medicare coverage, Medicare pays first and this Plan pays second). This means a City of Santa Rosa sponsored group health plan pays up to the limits of coverage first and the “Secondary Payer” only pays if there are costs the primary insurer didn’t cover. Because of this “coordination of benefits” between the Primary and Secondary Payers, regular hire full-time and part-time Medicare-eligible employees who receive their healthcare coverage through a City of Santa Rosa sponsored medical plan, are not required to sign up for Medicare Plan B when they turn 65 and may defer this coverage until they separate service with the City.
City of Santa Rosa employees who become eligible for Medicare while working will have an opportunity to sign up for Medicare prior to retirement during a Medicare Special Enrollment Period without penalty.
If you are over age 65 at retirement, your Medicare benefits must be effective on or prior to your retirement date. There are premium penalties if your benefits become effective after retirement, so it is recommended to begin the Medicare enrollment process no later than three months before you plan to retire.
Below are helpful resources for more information about Medicare eligibility and enrollment:
• Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) official Medicare handbook, “2021 Medicare & You”
• Social Security Administration telephone 1 (800) 772-1213 and website www.SSA.gov
The City of Santa Rosa provides a Post-Retirement Medical Benefit Plan for many of its employees. This plan, called the Retiree Stipend Plan, provides a monthly tax-free stipend that is available to be used for eligible health care premiums or other eligible health care costs. In order to receive the stipend, you will have to provide documentation that you have those medical expenses.
The amount of the stipend depends on which unit you are in and how many years of service you’ve had in that unit when you retire or leave City of Santa Rosa’s employment. When you are eligible to receive the stipend depends on your unit and your age.
WORKTERRA is our third-party benefits administrator of the Stipend Plan. If you were not eligible to receive a stipend upon your retirement or separation from the City and have since become eligible, please contact WORKTERRA Customer Service at 888-327-2770 before submitting a claim to begin benefits. WORKTERRA may also be reached via email at email@example.com.
Retiree Reimbursement Account
Access your WORKTERRA stipend account information by creating a profile and logging in here: https://workterra.lh1ondemand.com/Login.aspx
Need to submit a claim? Please review the claim packet for forms & eligible expenses, then submit your claim to WORKTERRA.
Your final paycheck will include your regular wages up to your last day of employment and payoffs of eligible unused leave balances. You may have decisions to make regarding your sick leave payoff and, if applicable, deferred compensation. These decisions must be made prior to your last day of employment and communicated to Payroll.
Unused leave balances will be paid out as follows:
Current balance at date of retirement. Vacation payoff is not reportable to PERS and will not be used for purposes of calculating final compensation.
Current balance at date of retirement, up to a maximum of 100 hours for 40-hour employees, 72 hours for shift employees in the Fire Department. Compensatory time payoff is not reportable to PERS and will not be used for purposes of calculating final compensation.
Time Savings Plan
Any value remaining in your Abank will be refunded to you.
Holiday - Units 2, 5, 8, 9, 14 & Selected Rate Classes in Unit 11
Holiday payoffs are reportable to PERS and will be used in the calculation of final compensation.
Unit 2 and Unit 11 Battalion Chiefs: 168 hours, prorated based on calendar days worked since the previous January 1, will be paid off.
Unit 5 and Unit 11 Police Lieutenants: 144 hours, prorated based on hours in a paid status since the previous January 1, will be paid off.
Unit 8: Any remaining Floating Holiday hours, up to 32, will be paid off. In addition, the annual payoff of 24 hours, prorated based on calendar days worked since the previous December 1st, will be paid off.
Unit 9: 144 hours, prorated based on calendar days worked since the previous January 1, will be paid off.
Unit 14 (except Forensic Specialists): Any remaining holiday bank hours will be paid off.
Units 10, 11, 12 and 15 - Sick Leave Option 1: When Management and Confidential employees first entered into their Unit, they had a one-time opportunity to choose a sick leave payoff option. Employees who chose Option 1 receive a payoff every July for 25% of the previous fiscal year's earned but unused sick leave, up to 36 hours for Battalion Chiefs, 24 hours for all other. At retirement, employees with this option will receive the annual 25% payoff, and the remainder of their sick leave will be converted to service credit.
All Other Units (including 10, 11, 12 and 15) - Sick Leave Option 2: This option is applicable to all non-Management and non-Confidential employees, as well as to those Management and Confidential employees who chose option 2 at hire. It provides that upon retirement from the City, and with 10 consecutive years of service, employees will receive a payoff of half of their unused sick leave balance, up to a maximum as provided for in the "Sick Leave - Retirement Buyback "article of their MOU. The remaining hours will be converted to service credit using the conversion formula shown below.
Employees who were hired with Sick Leave Option 2, who later promoted into the Management or Confidential units and chose Sick Leave Option 1, will receive both the 25% of earned but unused Sick Leave payoff under option 1, and a payoff of half of any remaining Option 2 balance up to the maximum provided for in the "Sick Leave - Retirement Buyback" article of their MOU.
Employees in Units 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 15 with a sick leave option 2 balance have the option to convert their entire sick leave balance to service credit rather than take the option 2 payoff described above. Employees in these Units must complete a Sick Leave Balance Conversion Request Form (PDF) and submit it to payroll along with their CalPERS retirement application. The form is available online (PDF), or by contacting Payroll at extension 3130.
Formula for Sick Leave Conversion to Service Credit
Number of Hours/8 = Number of Days x 4 = % of 1 Year's Service Credit
(Example: 2,000 hours/8 = 250 Days x 4 = 1 Year Service Credit)
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives workers and their families who lose their health benefits the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by their group health plan for limited periods of time under certain circumstances such as voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked, transition between jobs, death, divorce, and other life events. Qualified individuals may be required to pay the entire premium for coverage up to 102% of the cost of the plan.
Worterra administers Cobra benefits for City Health plans and Dental, Vision and EAP plans.
Northwest Administrations is the Cobra administrator for Teamsters medical plans.
CalPERS is the Cobra Administrator for CalPERS medical plans.2021 COBRA Medical Rates