Retirement Planning Checklist


One year before Retirement

  • Request a formal estimate to assess your monthly benefit
  • Discuss your plans with your spouse
  • Attend a Retirement Seminar
  • If applicable, complete and submit a Request to Purchase Service Credit Form and submit to MercedCERA
  • Contact MercedCERA should you have a marriage separation as you must provide MercedCERA a copy of the court order resolving the claim before you can receive benefits.  Retirement benefits are considered community property.

Nine months before Retirement

  • If you’re also a member of another public retirement system in California, there are steps you need to take to ensure you receive all the benefits you deserve from each system. Contact that system to ensure your retirement date and benefits are coordinated.
  • Research Social Security and Medicare options.
  • If you have Social Security benefits coming later after retirement, you may increase your monthly MercedCERA pension income until age 62. Ask MercedCERA about a Social Security Modification.

Six months before Retirement

  • If you have not done so already, request a formal estimate from MercedCERA by completing a Request for Estimate form.
  • Review the retirement plan options available to ensure you have proper time to think about what alternative best suits your needs.
  • Ensure you have a copy of your and your spouse’s birth certificate or current passport, a marriage license or domestic partner registration (if applicable), and/or any court divorce decrees/settlement.

Two months before Retirement

  • Make an appointment and meet with a MercedCERA Benefits Analyst.
  • Complete and submit a Retirement Application with MercedCERA.

Once You’re Retired

It’s not until you’ve ended employment that the actual final number of sick/vacation hours are available. Once your termination payroll information is available from your employer, you will be requested to make your final formal selection of pension options based on the final salary information.