2021 PEPRA compensation limits

The 2021 PEPRA compensation limits will be $128,059 for Social Security members and $153,671 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 2020 limits are published on the State Controller’s Office website at Agenda Item #3 –PEPRA Pension Compensation Limit Letter for 2020. The 2021 limits will be posted on the CAAP meetings page, and we’ll update the link when it’s published.

CalPERS usually publishes the limits early in the calendar year. The 2020 PERS notice is at https://www.calpers.ca.gov/docs/circular-letters/2020/200-001-20.pdf.

When they become available, we will confirm all the PEPRA calculations in the CalPERS and CAAP letters. The table below shows a complete set of the PEPRA compensation limits through 2021.

For PEPRA members in the CalSTRS Defined Benefit (DB), Defined Benefit Supplement (DBS) and Cash Balance (CB) Benefit programs, the 2020-21 pay limit is $151,837. 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.