Pension income

Faculty members who are considering retirement often have questions about the financial consequences. 

General notes

  • Basic retirement income is based on age at retirement, years of service credit, and Highest Average Plan Compensation (HAPC), which is the average of the highest three consecutive years of base-building compensation (for faculty members, usually their nine-month salary). 
  • For most faculty members who are currently considering retirement, the age factor used to determine the retiree pension is at the maximum once they reach 60.
  • The years of service factor reaches the maximum at 40 years of service. Once an active faculty member reaches this maximum, they no longer make contributions to the UC Retirement Program.
  • With maximum age factor and maximum service credit, most faculty members who retire can receive 100% of their HAPC each month (before tax or other withholding).
  • Once faculty members retire, their monthly checks are no longer subject to withholding for contributions to Social Security or the UC Retirement Program.
  • Cost-of-living adjustments to retirement income, which, while not guaranteed, have been regular over the years, help to keep the retirement option an attractive one.  In recent years, the annual adjustment has generally been around 2%.

Salary vs. pension income

  • If you’re a longtime UC employee, you may be surprised to see that the amount of your retirement check is not far off from your final paycheck.   
  • Tax and retirement specialists at the UC Office of the President have created several illustrative scenarios comparing net salary with net pension income.
  • For information that is automatically tailored to your individual profile, you can use the online retirement benefits calculator on the UC Retirement At Your Service (UCRAYS) website.