The Orange County Employees Retirement System
(OCERS) has been providing retirement, survivor and death
benefits for County of Orange employees and other eligible
members of the retirement system for nearly 70 years. OCERS'
membership has increased from fewer than 1,000 members in 1945
to more than 40,000 active, deferred and retired members today.
While you are an active member employed by the County of Orange,
you and your employer make mandatory contributions to the
Retirement System. Contribution rates are set annually by the
Retirement Board, which the resulting individual contribution
amount being based on the employee's nearest age upon entrance
into the system.
to view the
current employee and employer contribution rates.
Defined Benefit Pensions and OCERS
There are two types of pension
plans - Defined Benefit (DB) plans and Defined Contribution (DC)
plans. OCERS, like most public sector plans, is a Defined
Benefit pension plan. Your retirement is based on a set of
factors: benefit formula, age, final average salary and years of
service, but not on the amount you contribute or your account
balance at retirement. OCERS as a Defined Benefit plan provides
the member with a guaranteed lifetime benefit as well as certain
benefits for designated beneficiaries upon the member's death.
OCERS also provides a disability retirement benefit for members
who become permanently incapacitated from performing their usual
and customary duties, subject to certain eligibility
requirements, as well ad death benefits.
New members hired
by the County of Orange are automatically enrolled in one of
OCERS' benefit formulas depending on
whether the employee is a General or Safety member, their hire
date as well as bargaining unit.
The State of California
passed the Public Employees Pension Reform Act (PEPRA) that
amended certain sections of the County Employees Retirement Law
of 1937 (better known as the "37 Act") under which OCERS
operates. The law created new benefit types for new
employees/members entering public agency employment and public
retirement system membership for the first time on or after
How will I know my plan?
New employees are either Legacy plan
members or PEPRA plan members.
Legacy members - Legacy members
participate in plans available by employer and bargaining unit
as of 12/31/2012. If you are hired by Orange County and were a
member of an eligible reciprocal retirement system prior to
1/1/2013, and you enter Orange County employment within 180 days
of separating from the prior retirement system, you may be
considered a Legacy Plan member. Employees who reenter
OCERS-covered service within 6 months of deferring or who return
to the same OCERS employer would be a Legacy plan participant.
Depending on your employer and bargaining
unit, you will be eligible to participate in one of the Legacy
- Plans I/J and P - 2.7% at 55 and
1.62% at 65 for General Members employed in most bargaining
- Plans A/B - 2% at 57 and 1.667% at
57.5 for General Members employed in County AFSME units and
Deputy Sheriff's trainees
- Plans E/F and R - 3% at 50 and 3% at
55 for Safety Members
- PEPRA members are
new to public employment, or have prior OCERS service which was
withdrawn, or re-enter OCERS' membership with a different employer
longer than 180 days after terminating employment with the prior
employer, or who are ineligible for reciprocity.
PEPRA Plans - PEPRA Plan members
beginning employment with an OCERS' covered employer on or after
January 1, 2013 will participate in one of the following PEPRA
- Plan T (PEPRA
compliant) - 1.62% at 65 for General
Members employed in most bargaining units
- Plan U - 2.5% at 67 for General
Members employed in County AFSME units, Attorneys and Deputy
- Plan V - 2.7% at 57 for Safety
Once you are an
Orange County employee and
become a member of the retirement system, OCERS will mail you a
"Welcome Letter" that will provide you with information on how
to access your personalized retirement account via the online
myOCERS. Once you have enrolled in myOCERS, you will be able to see your plan information and view your
OCERS retirement account information 24 hours a day, 7 days a
For more information on OCERS' benefits
please review the Summary Plan Descriptions (SPD) and other
information which is available on this Web site or call Member
Services at (714) 558-6200.