2019 PEPRA compensation limits

The 2019 PEPRA compensation limits are $124,180 for Social Security members and $149,016 for non-Social Security members.

These limits are the maximum pay that a California public agency can recognize in a defined benefit plan for PEPRA members, i.e. those first hired by a public employer in 2013 or later.  “Classic” members hired from 1996 through 2012 are subject to the higher §401(a)(17) pay limit that applies to private sector employees.

Each year, the California Actuarial Advisory Panel (CAAP) publishes an “unofficial” calculation of the PEPRA compensation limit.  The 2019 limits are published on the State Controller’s Office website at Agenda Item #2 –PEPRA Pension Compensation Limit Letter for 2019.

CalPERS usually publishes the limits early in the calendar year.  The 2018 PERS notice is at https://www.calpers.ca.gov/page/employers/policies-and-procedures/circular-letters.  Search for letter #200-001-18.

We’ve confirmed all the PEPRA calculations in the CalPERS and CAAP letters.  The table below shows a complete set of the PEPRA compensation limits through 2019.

PEPRA Compensation Limit
Year Social Security Members Non Social Security Members
2013 $113,700 $136,440
2014 115,064 138,077
2015 117,020 140,424
2016 117,020 140,424
2017 118,775 142,530
2018 121,388 145,666
2019 124,180 149,016

For PEPRA members in the CalSTRS Defined Benefit (DB), Defined Benefit Supplement (DBS) and Cash Balance (CB) Benefit programs, the 2018-19 pay limit is $146,230.  Each year’s adjustments are based on February CPI figures and the limits apply to fiscal years.  Since CalSTRS members aren’t included in Social Security, only the non-Social Security figures are shown in the table below.  CalSTRS publishes a similar table at https://www.calstrs.com/post/final-compensation.

Fiscal Year PEPRA Compensation Limit  for CalSTRS Members
2013-14 $136,440
2014-15 137,941
2015-16 137,941
2016-17 139,320
2017-18 143,082
2018-19 146,230