Ready-to-Retire Counseling Sessions

Overview

Ready-To-Retire One-On-One Counseling Sessions

ACERA conducts Ready-To-Retire One-On-One counseling sessions for ACERA members who are ready to retire. You’ll meet one-on-one with a retirement specialist who will go over a retirement checklist, provide you retirement estimates, and give you important information.

How to Schedule a Counseling Session

Call ACERA 3-6 months ahead of your retirement date at one of the phone numbers below. We need this much advanced notice to allow time for work to be completed on your file prior to your session (especially if you have never contacted ACERA previously for an estimate or cost to purchase service). This advance notice will also ensure your first retirement check is paid to you within four to six weeks of receiving your last employer paycheck.

Counseling sessions are held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

What to Expect When You Call in to Schedule

When you make the phone call to schedule your counseling session, please allow twenty minutes for a specialist to review your account for eligibility and a high-level review of the information you will need to provide while they review your file. You will be asked to provide your date of retirement that you have chosen.

How to Prepare for Your Counseling Session

Prior to your counseling session, you will receive a package including your retirement application and a retirement allowance option election form with your estimated retirement allowance amounts. In addition, tax withholding forms, direct deposit, and health, dental and vision plan enrollment forms are also provided in this packet. Please complete all of these forms prior to your session in order to make the most of your time with your counselor. Here are digital versions of the forms:

What to Bring to Your Counseling Appointment

A list of required documents are also included with this packet; please gather these documents and bring them with you to the counseling session.

You will need to bring if you plan to enroll yourself and/or your spouse/domestic partner and/or other family members into ACERA healthcare coverage:

  • Benefits confirmation statement/letter, reflecting who is currently on your employer medical, dental and vision plans. Your employer provides this statement to you annually after open enrollment closes. You can request an additional copy from your employer’s benefits department, or from the Employee Benefits Center if you’re an Alameda County employee.

You will need to bring for yourself:

  • Your Social Security card
  • Your birth certificate
  • Medicare card (if you’re already enrolled in Medicare Part A and/or Part B)

You will need to bring if you have a spouse or state-registered domestic partner:

  • Social Security card of spouse or state-registered domestic partner
  • Birth certificate of spouse or state-registered domestic partner
  • Marriage certificate or Certificate of Registration of Domestic Partnership
  • Medicare card of spouse or domestic partner (if they’re already enrolled in Medicare Part A and/or Part B)

Bring these if you have children eligible for healthcare coverage that you plan on enrolling in your ACERA healthcare plan:

  • Eligible minor children’s birth certificates
  • Full-time student certification (if applicable)
  • Disability certification (if applicable)

Where to Park

ACERA does not validate parking for the City Center Garage. You must pay for parking or take public transport. Try searching Parkopedia for the cheapest parking garage near ACERA. ACERA’s offices are located just steps from the 12th St. BART Station.

What to Expect During Your Counseling Session

Your retirement counselor will review a counseling checklist and ensure all forms documents are submitted. They will also review your retirement allowance estimates and allowance options with you as well as answer any questions you may have regarding the process and your future retirement benefits.

ACERA Does Not Conduct Walk-In Counseling Sessions

You must call in advance to schedule a counseling session. Sessions are in high demand, and we need to ensure that we have ample staff available to meet the demand. If you walk in to ACERA without a counseling appointment, we will be unable to provide you counseling at that time. However, we will try to schedule you for a later time.

Have You Attended A Pre-Retirement Seminar?

This seminar covers a wealth of information about ACERA membership, retirement allowance benefit formulas, purchasing service, retirement allowance options, retiree health, dental and vision coverage and much more. It is recommended you attend this seminar within five years prior to retirement. Visit our Retirement Planning Seminars page to sign up online.

ACERA Phone Numbers

Main Line:        (510) 628-3000

Toll Free:         (800) 838-1932

 

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