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Government Code Section 31810 – Social Security Modification

Government Code Section 31810 allows a member to receive a StanCERA monthly retirement allowance in a different way than in the fixed-for-life fashion of the original plan design. A member may receive an increased monthly allowance before age 62 (earliest possible receipt of Social Security benefits) and then take a reduced monthly allowance at age 62 and after for the rest of the member’s life.

This Option does not alter any monthly allowance payments to your designated beneficiary. Your beneficiary will receive the same monthly allowance whether or not you choose this modification.

This option is not available to members who receive a disability retirement benefit. 

The amounts you receive will be actuarially the same as your “normal” monthly allowance. In other words, the retirement system will be setting aside the same dollars to fund your monthly retirement allowance whether or not you choose this option. If you live a “normal” life, you will use up the same dollars (with any accrued interest) with or without this modification. Your actual experience will, of course, prove more advantageous or disadvantageous depending on whether you live a shorter-than-normal or longer-than-normal lifetime.

In order to calculate your modified allowance precisely, StanCERA will need a written estimate of your Social Security benefits payable. You may obtain a request form from StanCERA, any Social Security Office or the Social Security website at www.ssa.gov.

The factors used in computing your increased allowance before age 62 are subject to changes in the actuarial assumptions of the interest crediting rate and retiree mortality. Please consult with StanCERA for accurate estimates of how this option modifies your normal monthly retirement allowance.

Remember that your Social Security Benefits are in addition to and totally separate from your StanCERA retirement benefits. You need to apply for whatever Social Security Benefits you will receive. 

While reading this material, remember that we are governed by the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937. The statements in this brochure are general. The 1937 Act is complex and subject to change. If there is a conflict between the law and this website, any decisions will be based on the law and not this booklet. 

You are encouraged to call StanCERA’s retirement office should you have any questions regarding Government Code Section 31810 – Social Security Modification.