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California State Teachers’ Retirement System

Looking for a stable retirement? CalSTRS is it.

What is CalSTRS?

CalSTRS is the largest teachers’ retirement system and second largest public pension fund in the nation. CalSTRS provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits to California’s public school educators and their families. Learn more!

Video Overview

This video provides a brief explanation of CalSTRS benefits.

What do CalSTRS members say?

Check out these videos from active and retired teachers who share their love of teaching in California. You can also view Teacher Talk Profiles to learn what teachers say about their teaching careers and retirement plans.

How does CalSTRS describe the retirement benefits?

CalSTRS administers a hybrid retirement system consisting of traditional defined benefit, cash balance and voluntary defined contribution plans. Your income in retirement is a shared responsibility between CalSTRS and you. Every month you, your employer and the State of California contribute a percentage of your salary to CalSTRS. Your pension is based on a formula—not on how much you contribute—and is a guaranteed monthly payment for the rest of your life, regardless of financial market fluctuations. For many teachers, a defined benefit plan can provide a larger and more secure retirement than a defined contribution plan such as a 401(k). The longer you work as a teacher in California, the better your benefit will be. For example, a 30-year-old who starts their career today and teaches for 35 full years could earn 84% of their salary in retirement. CalSTRS also provides disability, death and survivor benefits, which are less common in defined contribution plans. To learn more, view our Understanding the Formula video on CalSTRS.com.