How does a defined benefit plan differ from a defined contribution plan?
In a defined benefit plan, the employer promises to pay a specified benefit upon the plan member's retirement. That benefit is a lifetime benefit, paid to the recipient for the rest of his or her life. The employer invests the funds in a defined benefit plan and bears the risk of adverse investment performance.

Defined contribution plans, such as 401(k) and 457 plans, are savings accounts. Benefit payments (withdrawals) under these plans stop when your money runs out. In these types of plans, the employee decides how to invest the funds and bears the risk of adverse investment performance. Benefit amounts in defined contribution plans are determined by investment performance and amount of contributions.

MCERA's retirement plans are defined benefit plans and, at retirement, provide a guaranteed monthly allowance paid for the rest of the member's life. MCERA benefits are based on final average salary, retirement age, years of service, and Tier.

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1. Where is Merced County Employees' Retirement Association located?
2. How can I get MCERA brochures or forms?
3. What are the MCERA office hours?
4. I am currently working. What section of the MCERA website should I look at for information?
5. I am looking for something I read in a recent newsletter. Where can I find it?
6. How can I speak in person with a MCERA Retirement Benefits Specialist?
7. How do I advise MCERA of my new address?
8. I need to report the death of a relative who worked for Merced County. What information does MCERA need?
9. How does a defined benefit plan differ from a defined contribution plan?
10. I worked for Merced County many years ago. Am I eligible for a retirement benefit?
11. I have been away from the County for a while. How do I find out my retirement benefits with the County?
12. How can I stay updated on MCERA's financial situation?
13. Who serves on MCERA's Boards?
14. When are the Board meetings held?