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The San Diego County Employees Retirement Association (SDCERA) is an independent association established by the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937. SDCERA administers retirement and associated benefits for eligible employees of the County of San Diego and other participating employers, and is responsible for collecting, depositing, investing and managing the retirement funds. The SDCERA team works under the direction and governance of the Board of Retirement. SDCERA also provides a wide range of member services to more than 40,000 active, deferred and retired members.

SDCERA Mission

SDCERA's mission is mandated by the California Constitution:

Invest and diversify Trust Fund assets so as to minimize the risk of loss and to maximize the rate of return;

Use Trust Fund assets for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to Members and beneficiaries; and

Administer the retirement plan in a manner that will assure prompt delivery of benefits and related services to Members and beneficiaries.


SDCERA was established July 1, 1939. Fifty years later in 1989, the Board of Retirement took action to establish the retirement system as an independent organizational unit, allowing the association to pay for its own administrative costs. This also allowed the Board to appoint its own personnel to manage the growing retirement fund. SDCERA's first fiscal year became effective in 1989.

In 1992, the passing of the California Pension Protection Act (Proposition 162) provided protection and authority for SDCERA's Board of Retirement. SDCERA is still integrated to some extent with County systems. While the County Board of Supervisors does not govern SDCERA, the supervisors do appoint four of the nine Retirement Board members.

In 1996, SDCERA hired its first Chief Executive Officer. Prior to that, it had been the role of the County Treasurer to also act as Retirement Administrator. As the organization grew, so did the responsibilities of that position. While the County Treasurer no longer holds this dual role, the position continues to play an important role at SDCERA, carrying the only permanent seat on the Board of Retirement.