Get to know one of your most valuable UC benefits

How much do you know about your UC primary retirement benefits? If you’re like most people, you explored them when you joined the university, but the day-to-day business of your new job claimed most of your attention. We want you to know the full value of UC’s unique and comprehensive retirement program and its commitment to helping you achieve your retirement goals.

Here’s a quick overview of what UC provides.

Over the last decade, many American employers have shifted from pensions to 401(k) plans as their primary retirement benefit. Today, just 21 percent of American workers have access to a pension plan.1 Because a pension plan provides guaranteed retirement income for as long as you live, it’s one of the most valuable benefits an employer can offer.

If you were hired before July 1, 2016, you are automatically a member of UC’s pension plan—the UC Retirement Plan. Those hired after July 1, 2016, can choose to participate in either the pension plan or a 401(k)-style savings plan. Both offer a valuable retirement income opportunity, but each works differently. 

UC Retirement Plan (UCRP and Pension Choice)

UCRP is a monthly pension benefit that offers a predictable level of lifetime retirement income. When you retire, you will receive monthly retirement income for as long as you live. Your benefit is based on your pay, the date you were hired, and the number of years you have worked for UC.

The amount you and UC contribute to UCRP depends on when you were hired. For example, if you were hired after July 1, 2016, you contribute 7% of your pretax eligible pay, up to $345,000 in the 2024 Plan Year, and UC contributes a percentage of eligible pay to UCRP, as determined by the UC Regents, up to the PEPRA maximum. If you earn more than the PEPRA maximum, UC makes an additional contribution to a supplemental 401(k)-style account—5% for faculty and 3% for staff.2

Here’s an example. If you were hired after July 1, 2016, and retire at age 65 with 20 years of service, you'll receive lifetime monthly retirement income of 50% of your pay. Retire at 65 with 30 years of service, and you'll have 75% of pay.3 And that doesn't include any supplemental contributions made to the DC Plan. 

TIP: Read Your UC retirement income just might surprise you for detailed examples. To learn more about eligible pay and earnings maximums under UCRP, see Key facts about your choices. 

UC Defined Contribution Plan (DC Plan and Savings Choice)

The DC Plan works much like a 401(k) plan. Your individual contributions plus contributions from UC accumulate in a tax-deferred retirement account that you draw from in retirement. You contribute 7% of your eligible pay, up to $345,000 in the 2024 Plan Year, and UC contributes 8%. When you retire, your account balance will depend on the amount contributed by you and UC, and the performance of your investments.

Additional resources to help you plan for your goals

Use the tools, resources and additional savings opportunities UC offers to help you achieve your financial goals.


Estimate your monthly pension benefit from UCRP

Log in to UC Retirement at Your Service (UC RAYS)

See the monthly retirement income you could have from all your UC retirement benefits.

Log in to the Retirement Review

Meet with a UC-dedicated workplace financial consultant by phone or video, at no cost to you.

Call 800-558-9182

Schedule a consultation