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STRS - Certificated Retirement System

The following information is intended to be helpful.


When making decisions regarding your STRS retirement benefits, always go to the source: 

Californina State Teachers Retirement System - CalSTRS

STRS Retirement Benefits

STRS Retirement Benefit Calculator

Refund of STRS Contributions  Carefully consider your options using STRS guidance. 


Who CAN join STRS?

Certificated Employees may elect to join STRS at any time.

Certificated Substitutes may elect to join STRS at any time. 

A form is required to elect membership. 


Who MUST join STRS?

Anyone who is already a member of STRS - Mandatory.

Certificated Employees working .50 FTE (50%) or more - Mandatory.

Certificated Substitutes who work for the district 100 days or more in a school year - Mandatory.



A Certificated Employee who is already a member of PERS may elect PERS as their retirement system IF their STRS membership is mandatory. 


Membership Types:

Classic - Joined prior to January 2013. Retirement formula is 2% at 60.

PEPRA/New - Joined after January 1, 2013. Retirement formula is 2% at 62. 


STRS Retirees should observe the following rules to avoid losing retirement benefits*:

Retirees should 'sit out' from employment in STRS creditable positions for at least 180 calendar days following retirement.

Retirees should not earn more than the annual earnings limit in any combination of STRS creditable service:

Retirees may not work in PERS positions (except as a Teacher's Aide under certain unusual conditions). 

Retirees may work in the private sector, including private schools, CA universities, and public schools outside of California.


Always check direclty with STRS to confirm retirement earnings restrictions. 

*See STRS Working After Retirement for more information.

  • Less than 5 years Service Credit, you may wish to "cash out" your contributions plus interest.
  • 5 years or more Service Credit, you may wish to leave your money in STRS until you qualify for retirement benefits (age 55). 
  • 7/1/23-6/20/24 = $50,655
  • 7/1/24-6/20/25 = $74,733