MercedCERA is funded by investment earnings, employee (member)
contributions and employer contributions. Together, these funding
sources enable MercedCERA to offer its members lifetime
Although employee contributions have no impact on the calculation
of your monthly retirement benefit, they are an essential element
of the retirement system. They are also critical to your
membership—as long as your retirement contributions are on
deposit, you remain a member of MercedCERA.
Contributions are deducted from your biweekly pay on a pre-tax
basis* and credited to your retirement account. Your exact
contribution amount in a pay period will depend on your
assigned contribution rate, as determined by MercedCERA’s
actuary, and your total pensionable pay (base salary plus
qualifying pay items). This pay is referred to as “compensation
earnable” for Legacy members and “pensionable
compensation” for PEPRA members.
Biweekly deductions will continue throughout employment for most
members. However, safety members who reach 30 years of continuous
service will no longer contribute to MercedCERA. Interest is
credited to the individual accounts of all members semiannually
on June 30th and December 31st.
Members may not withdraw their retirement contributions
as active members or while reciprocity is in effect.
Additionally, contributions cannot be loaned to members or
withdrawn for financial hardship. By withdrawing contributions
after terminating employment, a member severs membership and
forfeits all claims to MercedCERA benefits.
Employer contributions are also made to MercedCERA each pay
period to help grow MercedCERA’s investment portfolio and pay
retirement benefits. These contributions are based on
a percentage of payroll, as determined by MercedCERA’s
actuary, but they are not assigned to
individual member accounts.