Your Benefits

COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENT (COLA)

On April 1 of each year, all retirement allowances are adjusted in accordance with changes in the annual average cost of living based upon the Bureau of Labor Statistics Average Consumer Price Index (CPI) for All Urban consumers for the Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County area as of the preceding January 1.

Plans 5A, 5B, and 5C
The maximum increase or decrease in the allowance each year is 3%. Any change in the CPI in excess of 3% is accumulated (in your “COLA bank”) and applied in a future year when the CPI change is less than 3%. Your allowance will never be decreased below the amount of your base allowance at the time of your retirement.

Plan 7A
The maximum increase or decrease in the allowance each year is 2%. Any change in the CPI in excess of 2% is accumulated (in your “COLA bank”) and applied in a future year when the CPI change is less than 2%. Your allowance will never be decreased below the amount of your base allowance at the time of your retirement.

General Plan 2
There are no Cost of Living adjustments under General Plan 2.

The 2019 Retiree COLA is 4%.

All Legacy General and Safety Plans will see a 3% increase, with a 1% COLA carry-over bank. Both Plan 7 and Plan 8 will see a 2% increase, with a 2% carry-over bank.

DIRECT DEPOSIT & BENEFIT PAY DAYS

Retirement allowances are deposited directly into a bank, savings and loan, or credit union. The Retirement Office must have the full name and current mailing address of the financial institution, signed authorization and acceptable support documentation from any account to which the payment is to be deposited.

BENEFIT PAY DAYS

1/2/2019

2/1/2019

3/1/2019

4/1/2019

5/1/2019

5/31/2019

7/1/2019

8/1/2019

8/30/2019

10/1/2019

11/1/2019

11/29/2019

Need to change your direct deposit information? Fill out the Direct Deposit Authorization Form. If you are an SBFCU member, please submit the Direct Deposit Authorization for Santa Barbara County Federal Credit Union Accounts.

INCOME TAX STATUS

Your retirement benefits may be subject to federal and state income tax. See your tax advisor or the appropriate taxing agency for information about the tax status of your retirement allowance.

Each year before January 31 you will receive a Form 1099-R from the Retirement Office to assist you in filing your taxes. Receipt of a lump-sum refund of interest and untaxed contributions could carry significant tax penalties — check with a tax adviser before selecting an option that includes a cash refund.

SOCIAL SECURITY

Contributions to and benefits from Social Security Administration (SSA) are, in most cases, in addition to those under the retirement plan. Only General Plan 2 has an allowance that is reduced by SSA benefits. If you are a member of Plan 5A, 5B or 5C, your SSA benefits may be subject to a reduction for the Government Pension Offset or Windfall Elimination Provision for periods of County service during which you did not contribute to SSA (such as extra-help employment). Members should check with the Social Security Administration to determine if SSA benefits will be affected by their allowance.

For questions related to Social Security and Medicare, please watch this presentation created by the Social Security Administration.

RETIRED EMPLOYEES OF SANTA BARBARA COUNTY (RESBC)

RESBC is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of county retirees by providing information on critical retirement issues and offering educational/cultural social opportunities. Membership in RESBC is $2.50 monthly. Dues are deducted from the member’s Santa Barbara County pension payment. County employees may join RESBC by completing the RESBC Membership Deduction Authorization form at the time of their retirement exit conference.

  • 4 issues of the RESBC newsletter per year.
  • 4 subsidized luncheon meetings per year held at various county locations.
  • Opportunities to participate in subsidized day trips and special events.
  • Attendance at special presentations on critical issues such as health insurance, pension litigation, pension-related court decisions, etc.
  • Opportunity to socialize and have fun with former co-workers and friends.
Retirees may join at any time by submitting a Membership Form to benefits@sbcers.org.