Estimating Your Retirement Allowance

As you use this section, bear in mind that this will help you create an estimate, not a calculation of your true actual benefit. Your benefit will depend on the particulars of your employment history at the time you retire. In addition, the California Government Code provisions governing the Retirement Plan, as well as the By-Laws and the Regulations governing Merced County Employees' Retirement Association (MCERA), which may change between now and the time you retire.

The information provided here will give you an estimate of the retirement allowance you might receive under the "Unmodified" Option only. You are welcome at any time to contact the MCERA office for a benefit estimate, or you can create your own estimate via the website with the MCERA calculator.

How To Compute A Retirement Allowance Estimate

Retirement allowances are based on a percentage of average monthly salary for the last or highest paid year of service. This average monthly salary is called final compensation. Determine final compensation by adding the biweekly salary for the latest or highest 26 (Tier I) or highest 78 (Tier II, III and IV) pay periods and dividing the sum by 12 (Tier I) or 36 (Tier II, III and IV). For example:

Calculating Monthly Salary

The average monthly salary for a Tier I member is computed as follows:
Biweekly Salary Pay Periods 
                                                             $1,156.80 X 10 = $11,568
                                                             $1,215.20 X 16 = $19,443.20
                                                      26 = $31,011.20  Yearly Salary

                                                  Yearly salary / 12 = Average monthly salary

                                                      Example: $31,011.20 / 12 = $2,584.27

After computing the average salary, find the percentage that applies to the age and years of service at retirement as shown in "Charts and Tables" section located after the Retirement Worksheet (PDF). This illustration is referring to Table I. There is a separate table for safety members. A miscellaneous member age 60 with 25 years of service has a factor of 75%. Multiply the appropriate percentage times the average salary:

                                            Average monthly salary X Factor= Monthly allowance

                                                      Example: $2,584.27 x 75% = $1,938.21

Social Security Factors

Due to social security integration, members must then reduce their retirement allowances by the social security factors. The reduction is dependent on age at retirement and the number of years of social security coverage you have in the County or district. An estimate of the reduced retirement allowance from the Retirement Association may be computed as follows:
  1. Compute your unmodified service retirement allowance from the example on the above.
  2. Determine the reduction factor for your age at retirement from the Reduction Factor Chart. Please refer to the "Charts and Table" section.
  3. Determine your number of years of social security coverage as an employee of the County or district, generally, the number of years after January 1, 1956.
  4. Multiply the reduction factor times your number of years with social security coverage to obtain the amount of reduction.
  5. Subtract the amount of reduction from your unmodified allowance to determine your reduced retirement allowance.
Continuing with the example above, a miscellaneous employee who retires at age 60 with 25 years of service and had been covered by Social Security during the last 25 years of county employment computes the reduced retirement allowance as follows:

                                                 Unmodified Retirement Allowance        $1,938.21
                                                  Reduction 25 years x $2.55 = 63.75         - 63.75
                                                 Reduced Unmodified Allowance            $1,874.46

Please see the Retirement Worksheet (PDF) section to assist you in estimated your retirement benefits allowance.


Social Security benefits are in addition to the Retirement Association benefits.