topleft CSBA.org >  Services >  Governance Technology > 

Legal Resources | Education Code |  EC  22119.3  

State Teachers' Retirement System; Creditable Compensation   

arrow Previous bar Next arrow

(a) "Creditable compensation" for members who are subject to the California Public Employees' Pension Reform Act of 2013 means remuneration that is paid each pay period in which creditable service is performed for that position. Creditable compensation shall be paid in cash by an employer to all persons in the same class of employees in accordance with a publicly available written contractual agreement, including, but not limited to, a salary schedule or employment agreement. Creditable compensation shall include:

(1) Remuneration that is paid for the use of sick leave, vacation leave, or an employer-approved compensated leave of absence, except as provided in paragraph (4) of subdivision (b).

(2) Member contributions that are picked up by an employer pursuant to Section 22903 or 22904.

(3) Amounts that are deducted from a member's remuneration, including, but not limited to, deductions for participation in a deferred compensation plan; deductions to purchase an annuity contract, tax-deferred retirement plan, or insurance program; and contributions to a plan that meets the requirements of Section 125, 401(a), 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), or 457(f) of Title 26 of the United States Code.

(4) Notwithstanding paragraphs (6) and (8) of subdivision (c) of Section 7522.34 of the Government Code, remuneration that is paid for creditable service that exceeds one year in a school year.

(b) "Creditable compensation" does not mean and shall not include:

(1) Remuneration that is not paid in cash or is not paid to all persons who are in the same class of employees.

(2) Remuneration that is paid for service that is not creditable service pursuant to Section 22119.5 or 22119.6.

(3) Remuneration that is not paid each pay period in which creditable service is performed for that position.

(4) Remuneration that is paid in exchange for the relinquishment of unused accumulated leave.

(5) Payments, including, but not limited to, those for participation in a deferred compensation plan; to purchase an annuity contract, tax-deferred retirement plan, or insurance program; and for contributions to a plan that meets the requirements of Section 125, 401(a), 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), or 457(f) of Title 26 of the United States Code when the cost is covered by an employer.

(6) Fringe benefits provided by an employer.

(7) Expenses paid or reimbursed by an employer.

(8) Severance pay, including lump sum and installment payments, or money paid in excess of salary or wages to a member as compensatory damages or as a compromise settlement.

(9) Creditable compensation determined by the system to have been paid to enhance a member's benefit.

(10) Compensation paid to the member in lieu of benefits provided to the member by the employer or paid directly by the employer to a third party other than the system for the benefit of the member.

(11) Any one-time or ad hoc payments made to a member.

(12) Any employer-provided allowance, reimbursement, or payment, including, but not limited to, one made for housing, vehicle, or uniform.

(13) Any bonus paid in addition to compensation described in subdivision (a).

(14) Any other payments the board determines not to be "creditable compensation."

(c) (1) Except for purposes of calculating credited service in the Defined Benefit Program and for reporting compensation earnable on or after January 1, 2013, creditable compensation in any fiscal year shall not exceed:

(A) One hundred twenty percent of the "contribution and benefit base," as determined under Section 430(b) of the Social Security Act (42 USC Sec. 430(b)), on January 1, 2013, for a member whose service is not included in the federal system.

(B) One hundred percent of the "contribution and benefit base," as determined under Section 430(b) of the Social Security Act (42 USC Sec. 430(b)), on January 1, 2013, for a member whose service is included in the federal system pursuant to any changes in state or federal law enacted on or after January 1, 2013.

(2) The system shall adjust the limit based on the annual changes to the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: U.S. City Average, calculated by dividing the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: U.S. City Average for the month of February in the fiscal year preceding the adjustment by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: U.S. City Average for the month of February of the previous year rounded to the nearest thousandth. Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) of Section 7522.10 of the Government Code, the adjustment shall be effective annually on July 1, beginning July 1, 2014.

(3) The Legislature reserves the right to modify the requirements of this subdivision with regard to all members subject to this subdivision, except that the Legislature may not modify these provisions in a manner that would result in a decrease in benefits accrued prior to the effective date of the modification.

(4) This subdivision shall apply to compensation paid during the 2013-14 fiscal year and each fiscal year thereafter.

(d) An employer or individual who knowingly or willfully reports compensation in a manner inconsistent with subdivision (a) or (b) may be subject to prosecution for fraud, theft, or embezzlement in accordance with the Penal Code. The system may establish procedures to ensure that compensation reported by an employer is in compliance with this section.

(e) For purposes of this section, remuneration shall be considered paid if distributed to any person in the same class of employees who meets the qualifications or requirements specified in a publicly available written contractual agreement, including, but not limited to, a collective bargaining agreement or an employment agreement, as a condition of receiving the remuneration.

(f) This definition of "creditable compensation" reflects sound principles that support the integrity of the retirement fund. Those principles include, but are not limited to, consistent treatment of compensation throughout a member's career, consistent treatment of compensation among an entire class of employees, consistent treatment of compensation for the position, preventing adverse selection, and excluding from creditable compensation remuneration that is paid to enhance a member's benefits. The system shall determine the appropriate crediting of contributions according to these principles, to the extent not otherwise specified pursuant to this part. A presumption by the system that creditable compensation was paid to enhance the member's benefits may be rebutted by the member or by the employer on behalf of the member. Upon receipt of sufficient evidence to the contrary, a presumption by the system that creditable compensation was paid to enhance the member's benefits may be reversed.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 782, Sec. 3.)