1920 State Teachers' Retirement System
Program Descriptions


The primary functions of the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) are as follows:
  • Maintain a financially sound retirement system.
  • Maintain an efficient operational system for the administration of CalSTRS.
  • Continuously improve the delivery of benefits, products and services to CalSTRS members.
  • Develop and improve upon benefits and products to CalSTRS members.

The Teachers' Retirement Board (Board) has exclusive control over the investment and administration of the Teachers' Retirement Fund. The Board makes rules, sets policies, and has the power and authority to hear and determine all facts pertaining to application for benefits under the retirement system. The twelve-member Board consists of four ex-officio members, including the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the State Treasurer, the State Controller, and the Director of Finance. The Governor-appointed members of the Board include three Public Members, one retiree of CalSTRS, one school board member or community college trustee. Three representatives are elected by active CalSTRS members.

Income to the CalSTRS is derived from contributions from members and employing school districts, appropriations from the General Fund, and investment earnings (see 6300-Teachers' Retirement System Contributions for state contributions for benefits). The cost of administration is paid from the Teachers' Retirement Fund as provided in Section 22304 of the Education Code.

The CalSTRS is responsible for the determination and payment of benefits to members, retirees, and their beneficiaries, and for the distribution of information to all members, employers, and other interested groups. The CalSTRS Defined Benefit Program includes service retirement, benefits for survivors, and disability benefits. The basic retirement allowance is determined on the basis of a member's age, years of credited service, and final compensation. The member may modify the basic allowance by selecting a joint and survivor annuity option to provide benefits for their beneficiary after the member dies. Generally, the payments of benefits are made within 30 days following the effective date of the member's retirement.