Termination Before Retirement


1.What are my options if I terminate employment before I am eligible to retire?

Please refer to our page Leaving Before Retirement page.

2.How long does it take to get a refund of my contributions?

You have to be off of payroll for at least three consecutive pay periods. Most refund checks are issued about 60 days after an employee terminates.

3.How do I Select a Termination Option?

To elect any of these options you must complete and submit the required MercedCERA form. Please contact MercedCERA at 209-726-2724 or your payroll clerk for a copy.

4.How much time do I have after separation to establish reciprocity?

Please know that for reciprocity, you must join the retirement system of your new employer within 6 months after your termination date. If your entry into that system happens later than 6 months post termination then you are not eligible to establish reciprocity.

5.Can I withdraw my contributions at a later date if I have established reciprocity?

No. If you choose a deferred retirement with reciprocity your new employer may base your contributions to its retirement system on your MercedCERA entry age. If you make this choice you cannot later change your mind and have your contributions and interest refunded from MercedCERA; that restriction will be in place as long as you are covered by a reciprocal arrangement.

6.Is the 20% federal income tax withholding mandatory for lump sum return of contributions?


7.Is there a state income tax withholding that is mandatory for lump sum return of contributions?


8.If I choose a deferred retirement when can I retire?

You may retire when you have attained the minimum age for retirement and when you would have reached sufficient years of service, based on your tier, had you remained a full time employee.

9.If I choose a deferred retirement and later change my mind can I withdraw my contributions?

Yes, as long as you have not established reciprocity you may withdraw your contributions at any time. Please keep in mind that if you choose to withdraw your contributions you forfeit any rights to a service or disability retirement at a later date.