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Retirement

Also see the Retirement Contract Language reference and
the BUSD Guide to Retiree Benefits

How old must I be to retire?

You must be at least 55 years of age or 50 years of age with 30 years of service.  (Article 17.1)

Can I receive a bonus if I notify BUSD early of my decision to retire?

Yes.  If you notify BUSD of your decision to retire by February 6, 2015 you will receive a $1,000 early notification bonus.  You should use the BUSD Separation form, which is available on the BFT website, and you should send the form to Evelyn Bradley, Director of Personnel using email (evelynbradley@berkeley.net).  We recommend cc’ing BFT on this email.

How can I get information about my STRS retirement income?

STRS specialists are available to answer your questions and help you plan for your retirement.  Urgent questions can be directed to a telephone counselor at 1-800-228-5453.  You can make an appointment with an STRS counselor for help with long term planning by calling the Hayward STRS office at (510) 670-4200.

Will I get paid for July and August if I retire in June?

If you do not want to work during summer school the best date for you to use to indicate your date of retirement is June 12, 2015.  With this date you will receive your regular checks from BUSD for July and August.  If you want to work during summer school you should contact Evelyn Bradley in the BUSD Human Resources office via email for further information.

What will my medical and dental benefits be after I retire?

If you have been a full-time teacher in BUSD for a minimum of 10 years and have been in STRS for a minimum of 15 years, you and one eligible dependent will receive the same coverage as active bargaining unit members until your 65th birthday.  If you served BUSD for 30 or more years, you can receive medical coverage until you are 67.  (Article 17.1.3)

What happens after those district benefits expire?

You can remain covered by the BUSD group coverage on a self-pay basis.  (Article 17.1.5)

Where can I get MORE information about my benefits and retirement?

Please see the “BUSD Retiree Benefits Handbook” on the BFT website under “Resources – FAQs”.

What happens to my benefits if I move out of California?

If you live in an area where BUSD group coverage is not available you are entitled to a monthly cash in lieu payment of 80% of the BUSD share of Kaiser single coverage until you are 65.  (Article 17.1.4)

What happens to my accrued sick leave when I retire?

Your accrued sick leave contributes to your years of service credit under STRS.  For more information we recommend contacting a STRS counselor.

Can I reduce my work hours in the years before I retire?

Yes, if you are 55 or over and have worked at least 10 years, you can reduce your work load and receive benefits and STRS credit as if you were working full time. (Article 17.3)  For more information about these Reduced Workload leaves please refer to the FAQ on this subject on the BFT website, berkeleyfederationofteachers.org.

Can I work in BUSD after I retire?

You may work as a consultant (Article 17.2).  You may also become a substitute teacher.  As a retired BUSD teacher you will automatically be on the preferred (requestable) bargaining unit sub list.  Be sure to consult with an STRS advisor about the timing and amount of income you earn, as it may affect your pension. 

Will I still be a member of BFT after I retire?

BUSD retired teachers can become lifetime BFT members by paying a one-time $50 membership fee.  You will receive information about this when you retire.  You are invited to join the Berkeley Retired Teachers Association (BRTA), which meets monthly to advocate for the interests of retired teachers. 

Updated 1/14/15