FAQs for Federated Employees

Following is a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) in The Office of Retirement Services, throughout this document referred as the Department.

Tier 1

(includes those hired, rehired or reinstated BEFORE September 30th 2012)

Following is a list of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) in The Office of Retirement Services, throughout this document referred as
the Department.

Active Employees

Where is The Office of Retirement Services located? What are the business hours, contact email address phone and fax numbers?

The Office of Retirement Services's business hours are Monday through Friday between 8 AM and 5 PM. The office is located at 1737 N. First Street, Suite 600, San Jose. We are about two miles north of City Hall at the corner of North First and Metro. If you are taking the light rail, exit at the Metro station. If you are driving, there is ample free parking behind the building. You can call the Department at (408) 794-1000 or if outside the 408 area code you can use (800) 732-6477. The email address is Retirement.Dept@sanjoseca.gov. The fax number is (408) 392-0771 or (408) 392-6732.

How do I apply for retirement?

The Application for Retirement form needs to be completed and returned to The Office of Retirement Services. You can obtain a form by clicking on the "FORMS" icon of this website to download the application, you can stop by the office to pick one up, or by calling us and we will mail you the application. As soon as the Department receives your completed application, a Benefits Analyst will be assigned to you. The Analyst will contact you to schedule a meeting where the two of you will to go over all of your options in retirement and sign all necessary documents.

When is the best time to retire?

The best time to retire is when you want to retire. Federated retirees are entitled to a 3% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) effective every April 1st. A popular time to retire is the last pay period end date in March; which ensures that you will receive a 3% increase immediately on upon retiring. Others choose to retire at the beginning of a new year if they expect to receive a significant termination payoff from vacation, sick leave, or comp time.

Retirement Services strongly recommends retiring on a pay period end date (Saturday) to avoid unnecessary complications with your final paycheck and your first pension check. When choosing which pay period of the month to retire, one thing you should consider is the length of time between your last paycheck and your first pension check. If you retire on the second pay period in the month, then the amount of time until your first pension check is minimized. Retirees are paid once a month on the last business day of each month.

Where do I get my notice of separation?

When you meet with your Benefit Analyst, the Notice of Separation will be one of the forms that you will have to sign. The completed form will be forwarded to your Department to complete their part of the process.

When will I meet with a City of San Jose Retirement Analyst?

You can make an appointment to meet with an Analyst at any time, however upon receipt of your application you will be assigned to an Analyst who will guide you through the retirement process. The Analyst will send a retirement packet to your home and will schedule you for a group counseling session. The group counseling sessions are conducted by an Analyst who will be able to answer any questions you may have.

How do I change my beneficiaries?

If for any reason you want to change your primary and/or secondary beneficiaries, please complete a beneficiary designation form. You can obtain a form by clicking on the "FORMS" icon of this website to download the beneficiary designation form, you can stop by the office to pick one up, or by calling us and request that we send you a beneficiary designation form. It is wise to review your beneficiary forms annually to be sure they are as you want them to be especially if there has been a death, divorce or remarriage.

How much money will I get when I retire?

The pension you are entitled to is based on a formula. The Department can run an estimate that will show your actual years of service (YOS) worked on a given date and your average salary. This is used to calculate the monthly pension benefit. The estimate will also show the options for the continuance of benefits for your eligible spouse. You can get an estimate of your benefit online in the WEB Members Services Section of this website by clicking on the “MY ACCOUNT” icon.

The calculation for Federated retirees is YOS times 2.5% times Final Average Salary (FAS). For example, an employee who worked 30 years and made $5,000/mth will get a pension of $3,750/mth (30 x 2.5% x $5,000). The maximum benefit is 75% of the FAS.

When I retire, when will I receive my pension check?

If you retire prior to the payroll deadline date within your retirement month, you will receive your first retirement check on the last day of the first month of retirement. If you retire past the payroll deadline date of your retirement month, you will receive your first retirement check on the last day of the following month. You will then receive a pro-rated amount for the month your retired plus the full following month.

I would like to speak to a specific analyst about my issue. How do I talk to a person?

You simply ask for the individual. If he/she is available they will be happy to take your call. If they are not available at that particular time, they will be happy to return your call at a more convenient time.

How do I avoid the possibility of being billed for outstanding active employee insurance premiums?

What is Internal Revenue Code Section 415(b)?