Reciprocity


Reciprocity provides a type of “portability" of benefits among reciprocal systems. When a member establishes reciprocity, service rendered in the various reciprocal systems is counted toward vesting the member in all systems. In addition, at retirement the highest salaries earned under the various reciprocal systems are used by all systems to calculate final compensation. There is NO transfer of assets or service credit. Members who have reciprocal benefits must retire concurrently from all reciprocal systems.

Reciprocity DOES NOT extend to the State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) or the University of California Retirement Plan (UCRP) nor to systems maintained by or in other states or by the Federal Government.

Once elected and established, reciprocity is irrevocable.  The only way a member can abrogate reciprocity is by terminating his or her employment and withdrawing contributions from all systems where reciprocity was established. The only other alternative the member has is retirement (if eligible). This is important to remember because once reciprocity is established, contributions in the reciprocal system are not available for refund unless employment in all systems where reciprocity is established is terminated.
 
To establish reciprocity, an individual must terminate membership in one system (System A) and enter into membership in the second system (System B) within six months. There can be no overlap of service and the break in service between systems cannot be greater than six months.

If you have worked or are planning to go to work for a reciprocal system and would like to establish reciprocity, please contact our office.