Retirement Planning Check-List
- 1 Year Before Retiring
- 9 Months Before Retiring
- 6 Months Before Retiring
- 2 Months Before Retiring
- Once You're Retired
1 Year Before Retiring
- Use the Retirement Estimate Calculator or request a formal estimate to assess your monthly benefit
- Discuss your plans with your spouse
- Attend a Brown Bag meeting
- Complete and submit a Request to Purchase Service Credit Form (PDF) to Merced County Employees' Retirement Association (MCERA), if applicable
- Contact MCERA should you have a marriage separation as you must provide MCERA a copy of the court order resolving the claim before you can receive benefits. Retirement benefits are considered community property.
9 Months Before Retiring
- 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 MCERA pension income until age 62. Ask Merced County Employees' Retirement Association (MCERA) about a Social Security Modification.
6 Months Before Retiring
- If you have not done so already, request a formal estimate from MCERA by completing a Request for Estimate form (PDF).
- 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.
2 Months Before Retiring
- Complete and submit a Retirement Application with MCERA.
- Make an appointment and meet with a MCERA Benefits Specialist.
Once You're Retired
It's not until you've ended employment that the actual final number of sick/vacation hours are available. Once closing termination 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.