Retirement Home

Retirement Overview

“The question isn’t at what age I want to retire, it’s at what income.” – George Foreman

Two of the biggest building blocks toward your retirement income are your pension and your 401(k). PG&E gives you both plans—and that’s unusual, because most employers today offer only a 401(k) plan.

Other building blocks toward your retirement income include Social Security and any personal savings, investments, and other earnings or income you might have.

WHEN CAN YOU RETIRE?

You can retire as early as age 55. You’ll be considered a PG&E retiree from the first of the month after you terminate PG&E employment, even if you haven’t submitted your pension paperwork.

Your retirement date and pension start date are usually the same:

Retirement date Pension start date

First of the month after you terminate PG&E employment if you’re 55 or older

To qualify for retirement on your last day of employment, you may be:

  • Actively at work
  • On vacation
  • On a leave of absence, including Workers’ Compensation and Long-Term Disability leaves

First of the month when you begin receiving pension payments

Your first pension payment will be made in the second month following your pension start date, and will include your first and second month’s payment.*

EXAMPLE:
May 1: Pension start date
June 1: First pension payment—including the benefit for May and June combined

*Are you a cash balance participant electing a lump sum? You’ll receive your one-time benefit after the PG&E Pension Center receives your timely, complete paperwork—typically the first of the month after your retirement date. If your paperwork is late, incomplete or incorrect, your payment will be delayed.

HOW DO YOU START THE RETIREMENT PROCESS?

To start the retirement process, you’ll need to submit your intent to retire to the PG&E Pension Center:

Follow these steps to retire and start your pension.

Follow these steps to elect PGE-sponsore retiree medical coverage

Download Retirement Steps for a timeline and checklist of what you need to do by when.

WHAT ARE YOUR RETIREMENT BENEFITS?

PG&E’s retirement benefits can help you build financial security.

401(k)
Retirement Savings Plan (RSP)

You’re in control—you decide how much to contribute to your account, and you choose your investment funds.

You can save for retirement through your own before-tax or after-tax contributions plus company matching contributions.

Your 401(k) benefit will vary based on how well your investment funds perform.

Pension
Retirement Plan

You don’t have to do anything—PG&E makes all the contributions.

Your pension is fully paid by PG&E at no cost to you.

Your pension benefit is defined by a formula. This means you’ll receive a specified amount regardless of how well the pension’s investments perform.

Postretirement Life Insurance

PG&E automatically provides this coverage at no cost to you.

You have the option to convert your employee life insurance coverage to an individual policy—at your expense—within 31 days after your retirement date.

Retiree Medical Coverage

PG&E offers retiree medical coverage for you and your eligible dependents when you retire after age 55 with at least 10 years of service.

You pay for this coverage—and PG&E helps you pay for this coverage through company-paid benefits:

Retiree Health Account

You’ll get this tax-free health reimbursement account if you:

  • Are eligible for PG&E-sponsored retiree medical coverage;
  • Were enrolled in the Anthem or Kaiser Health Account Plan (HAP) when you retired; and
  • Had leftover Heath Account credits when you retired.

Did you retire after January 1, 2017? Capped Sick Time for Management, A&T and ESC employees

You also could have a Retiree Health Account if you’re eligible for PG&E-sponsored retiree medical coverage and you had Capped Sick Time when you retired—even if you were not enrolled in the Health Account Plan (HAP) as an employee. If you have Capped Sick Time when you retire, 25% of your Capped Sick balance—up to a maximum of 25% of 1,040 Capped Sick hours—will be converted as credits and deposited into a Retiree Health Account for you:

If you had Capped Sick Time and you were enrolled in the HAP as an employee:

If had Capped Sick Time but you were not enrolled in the HAP as an employee:

You get unused HAP credits + Capped Sick Time in your Retiree Health Account. You get Capped Sick Time in your Retiree Health Account.

To see how a converted Capped Sick Time balance is calculated, download the guide to Converting Your Unused Capped Sick Time Bank to Retiree Health Account Credits.

You can’t elect the Retiree Health Account or contribute to it after you retire.

You can use the credits in your account to help pay for medical premiums and out-of-pocket health expenses—even if you’re not enrolled in a PG&E-sponsored retiree medical plan.

RETIREMENT INCOME BUILDING BLOCKS

Your pension and 401(k) form the foundation of your retirement income.

Retirement building blocks

Guaranteed income

Some of your income is guaranteed—like your Social Security benefits and your pension. There are no cost of living increases for your pension, but your Social Security benefits may be adjusted for cost of living. The only way you can get bigger pension and Social Security benefits is by working longer.

If you have the cash balance pension formula, the income from your pension is stated as a 401(k)-style account balance, even though you’re guaranteed a pension benefit. Fixed annuities and CDs are guaranteed sources of income, too.

Variable income

Other income is variable—like your 401(k) and other investments, such as mutual funds and real estate. The value of your 401(k) account can go up or down, depending on the performance of your investments.

You can influence how big of a balance you have by increasing your contributions and by saving more; by changing your investment mix; and by actively seeking financial guidance from advisors at Fidelity and Financial Engines.