Retirement Home

Ready to Retire?

Congratulations! Here’s where you can find out what you need to know and do to get started on your pension paperwork.

For an overview of what you need to do to start the retirement process, check out these resources:

RETIREMENT STEPS

You can retire when you’re at least age 55. You’ll be considered a PG&E retiree if you end your PG&E employment at age 55 or older—even if you don’t start your pension.

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

Retirement date Pension start date
Also called Pension Commencement Date

The first day after you end PG&E employment if you’re age 55 or older

Your retirement date can be any day of the month.

The date from which your pension payments will be calculated

Your pension start date is always the first of the month.

The earliest possible pension payment will be made the second month following your pension start date, and will include your first and second months’ payment.*

EXAMPLE:
April 19: Last day worked
April 20: Retirement date
May 1: Pension start date
June 1: First pension payment (includes payments for May and June)

*Cash balance participants who elect a lump sum will receive a one-time benefit as early as the second month following their pension start date, depending when their correctly completed pension kit is received.

To start the retirement process, you'll need to follow the steps in this flyer.

HOW TO START YOUR PENSION

Pension

First, pick a date when you want your pension to start. Then, notify the PG&E Pension Service Center 180 to 30 days before your desired pension start date:

Log in to your PG&E PensionConnect account at myPensionConnect.com
OR
Call the PG&E Pension Service Center at 1-800-700-0057

You’ll need to tell the PG&E Pension Service Center:

  • What date your employment will end
  • What date you want your pension to start
  • The name, birthdate and Social Security number of the person you want to name as a beneficiary—this is typically your spouse if you’re married

The PG&E Pension Service Center will mail a pension election kit to you soon after they receive your request.

You may be able to print your kit online if your communication preference is set to paperless.

You must return your correctly completed kit by the expiration date on your kit. Your kit will expire 180 days after you request it.

You MUST resign in writing no later than five business days before your last day on employee payroll.

Your supervisor needs at least five business days to process your separation.

If your separation hasn’t been processed by your pension start date, your pension request will be canceled and you’ll have to complete a new pension kit. Your pension will be delayed.

Kit and Final Pay Data

Timeline Examples

When Pension Payments Can Begin

HOW TO START RETIREE MEDICAL COVERAGE

Pension

If you’re ready—and eligible—for PG&E-sponsored retiree medical coverage, you must report your Intent to Retire to the PG&E Benefits Service Center 90 to 31 days before your retirement date:

Log in to your myPlans Connect account and select the Intent to Retire Life Event.

At work, go to PG&E@Work For Me and click About Me > My Benefits > myPlans Connect. You’ll be automatically logged in to your account.

From any computer or mobile device, go to mypgebenefits.com and click Log In under Manage Your Benefits.
OR
Call 1-866-271-8144. Representatives are available 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time, Monday through Friday, except holidays.

Eligibility

If you’re eligible for PG&E-sponsored retiree medical coverage, you’ll get a retiree medical enrollment kit in the mail soon after you report your Intent to Retire.

You can elect PG&E-sponsored retiree medical coverage for yourself and your eligible dependents if you’re at least age 55 on your last day of employment and:

  • You retire with at least 10 years of service

OR

  • You’re a Management or A&T employee hired before 2004 (no minimum service requirement)

See the Retiree Medical section for details about how and when to enroll.

HOW TO RESIGN

Resign in Writing

Ready to leave PG&E? You MUST resign in writing.

You must submit your letter or email of resignation to your supervisor no later than five business days before your last day on employee payroll. It’s a good idea to copy your supervisor’s manager or delegate when you submit your written resignation to your supervisor in case your supervisor is not available when you submit it.

If you’re an active regular employee (not Hiring Hall or Outage)—you must end your employment before your pension can start. Your last day of employment must be BEFORE your pension start date. You’re employed until your separation has been processed.

If your separation hasn’t been processed before your pension start date, your pension request will be canceled and you’ll have to complete a new pension kit, including new notarized forms. Your pension will be delayed.

Right and Wrong Ways to Resign

EXAMPLE: The Right Way to Resign

Vacationing out?

Your supervisor must approve your request to vacation out. It’s a good idea to submit your written resignation before you start your vacation if you have approval to vacation out and you plan to start your pension the day after your vacation ends.

You’re still employed through your vacation. If you resigned in writing early enough for your supervisor to process your separation, your employment will end when your vacation ends.

EXAMPLE: If your last day of vacation is Friday, your last day of employment also is Friday. Your employment ends at the beginning of Saturday.

Right and Wrong Ways to Resign – Vacationing Out

DIVORCED OR DIVORCING?

Did you divorce while employed by PG&E—or are you in the process of divorcing while employed by PG&E? Your former spouse(s) may have an interest in a portion of your PG&E retirement benefits.

Before you can start your pension—and for each former spouse who may have an interest—you’ll need to provide PG&E the following documentation:

  • A copy of the court-filed judgment of Dissolution or Judgment of Divorce and any Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA)
  • A copy of the court-filed Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), which shows how your benefit is divided if your former spouse was awarded a portion of your PG&E retirement benefits

You’ll need to mail this documentation to the PG&E Pension Service Center regardless of how old the divorce or how short the marriage:

PG&E Pension Service Center
DEPT: PGE
P.O. Box 981909
El Paso, TX 79998

IMPORTANT:
If you don’t provide the required documentation, your pension could be delayed or suspended without notice, and you could be subject to legal action to recover the benefit that was due to your former spouse(s) but paid to you.

Have more than one former spouse?

Provide PG&E with a copy of the court-filed orders for each divorce.

Don’t have the documents? Not sure what you need?

Contact your divorce attorney or the clerk of the court where your divorce was filed for help locating your records. Many courts also have websites where you can order your records online. You can also email WTWQDRO@willistowerswatson.com or call 1-800-700-0057 for help from the QDRO team.

Is your divorce still in process?

You have two options:

  • Retire before your divorce is final and elect a joint pension of at least 50% with your spouse—or get your spouse’s signed, notarized consent to a different election. Your retirement paperwork won’t be complete without this.
  • Defer your pension until after your divorce is final. If you’ve already submitted your written resignation, your supervisor must agree to change your resignation date if you want to keep working until your pension starts.

Is your divorce final—but you don’t have your final, court-filed documentation?

You should still return all of your other correctly completed retirement paperwork by the expiration date on your kit.

  • You’ll still retire on your requested date.
  • Your pension benefit will be based on that date.
  • Your first pension payment will be delayed in full months until the PG&E Pension Service Center receives your final, court-filed documentation.

When your pension will start

Your first pension payment will be made on the first of the month at least 30 days after the PG&E Pension Service Center receives your final, court-filed documentation. It will include a make-whole payment without interest for the months missed due to missing divorce documentation.

Paying for retiree medical coverage

If you elected PG&E-sponsored retiree medical coverage, the PG&E Benefits Service Center will automatically deduct your retiree medical premium from your pension as soon as they receive your Pension Personnel ID Number (PERNR). Deductions from your pension will be taken for current and prior months of retiree medical coverage.

If your pension is delayed for more than two months after your retiree medical coverage starts, the PG&E Benefits Service Center will automatically move your account to Direct Bill with HealthEquity | WageWorks. You’ll be billed for current and prior months of retiree medical coverage.

If you’re choosing to postpone your pension payments, you can start Direct Bill earlier by calling the PG&E Benefits Service Center. That way, you can avoid a big bill for past-due retiree medical premiums.

After your pension starts, you’ll need to call the PG&E Benefits Service Center if you want to stop getting monthly bills and switch to pension deductions to pay for your retiree medical premiums. Call 1-866-271-8144 and follow the prompts.

If you stay on Direct Bill and you don’t pay your premiums, your retiree medical coverage could be canceled.

By the time you start receiving your pension, your entire monthly annuity may automatically go toward paying your past-due retiree medical premiums. This will continue until your past-due premiums are paid in full.

WHAT’S IN YOUR PENSION ELECTION KIT?

The pension election kit you receive should include:

  • Cover letter with important information and deadlines
  • Benefit Election Checklist
  • Form 1—Pension Benefit Election Form
  • Form 2—Spousal Waiver Form
  • Form 3—Tax Withholding Form
  • Form 4—Direct Deposit Form (for monthly annuities)
  • Form 5—Lump Sum Election Form (included if applicable)
  • Notice 1—Descriptions of Payment Options
  • Notice 2—Relative Value Comparison
  • Notice 3—Notice of Participant’s Right to Defer Benefit Commencement
  • Return envelope
  • If applicable, you’ll also receive IRS 402(f) Special Tax Notice
FORM 1: PENSION BENEFIT ELECTION FORM

Your pension election paperwork uses the terms “beneficiary” and ”joint pensioner” interchangeably.

You’ll need to complete all of your pension paperwork, including confirming or choosing your pension beneficiary (joint pensioner)—even if you designated a pre-retirement pension beneficiary.

Your pre-retirement pension beneficiary elections DO NOT APPLY to your post-retirement pension elections. Your post-retirement pension beneficiary (joint pensioner) is automatically your spouse unless you elect otherwise.

Form 1 will show the pension start date you request when you notify the PG&E Pension Service Center that you want to start your pension. It will also show your pension beneficiary.

If the information shown on Form 1 is incorrect, you’ll need to request a new pension election kit.

If you originally requested a pension election kit through myPensionConnect.com, you can log in to your PensionConnect account to request a new pension election kit. Otherwise, call the PG&E Pension Service Center: 1-800-700-0057.

Form 1 also includes:

  • Section I: Marital Status Declaration
  • Section II: Lien Notification
  • Section III: Beneficiary Information
  • Section IV: Election of Form of Pension Benefit Payment
  • Section V: Participant Authorization

Your personalized election form will show your pension estimate for each payment option. You can elect one payment option for each pension formula you have.

PENSION FORMULAS AND PAYMENT OPTIONS

Most people have one of these pension formulas:

  • Final pay formula: Union-represented employee hired before 2013
  • Final average pay formula: Management or A&T employee hired before 2013
  • Cash balance formula: Hired in 2013 or later—or hired before 2013 and elected the cash balance pension formula in 2013

You could have multiple formulas if you elected the cash balance formula during the pension choice period in 2013 or if you were rehired in 2013 or later.

You’ll need to elect one payment option for each pension formula you have. You can choose the same or different payment options and joint pensioners, and you can start your pension benefits at the same time or separately.

One of your biggest decisions will be how you want your pension to be paid.

The cash balance formula is the only formula that allows you to elect a lump-sum payout. You can be single or married to elect this option. If you’re married, you’ll need your spouse’s notarized consent.

All of the pension formulas allow the following monthly annuities. You can be single or married to elect any of these options:

Payment Options

You can find more details about payment options in the Pension section.

Married?

Your spouse will need to provide notarized consent to most options. The only options that don’t require your spouse’s notarized consent are:

  • A joint pension of 50% or greater with your spouse
  • A special joint pension of 75% or greater with your spouse

Sample monthly payments

Here are sample monthly payments for a final pay pension formula, showing the different amounts based on payment options. These are examples only.

Sample payments
*Compared to single life pension value

FORM 2: SPOUSAL WAIVER FORM

Your spouse will need to sign Form 2: Spousal Waiver Form in the presence of a notary public if you elect:

  • A single life pension
  • A 25% joint pension with your spouse
  • A 25% or 50% special joint pension (“pop-up”) with your spouse
  • A lump-sum payout
  • Any joint pension with a person that is not your spouse
NOTARIZATION RULES

Notarization rules

  • Forms 1 and 2 require notarized signatures. The notary must attest that you are who you say you are, and that you’re signing in the presence of a notary.
  • Your own signature in the presence of a notary is always required.
  • Your spouse’s signature in the presence of a notary is required if you’re married and you elect an option requiring your spouse’s notarized signature.
  • Make sure the date you sign your paperwork and the date the form is notarized are the same. If the signature and notary dates are different, your form will be returned to you, and you’ll have to start over—possibly delaying the start of your pension.
  • The notary can use his or her own acknowledgment form, if preferred.

Notarization Rules

FORM 3: TAX WITHHOLDING FORM

You’ll need to complete federal and state income tax withholding elections for your pension payments. Your pension kit includes Form 3—Tax Withholding Form—where you can choose how you want income tax withheld from your monthly payments.

If you’re electing a lump-sum distribution, the amount required by law will be withheld from your distribution.

The withholding elections you made as an employee won’t carry over to your pension. There are specific federal and state forms for pension benefits.

Tax Withholding

If you don’t return your tax form

If you don’t return Form 3—Tax Withholding Form—or if it’s incomplete or incorrect, the PG&E Pension Service Center will withhold taxes at the default rate for pensioners—married with three exemptions.

If your taxes are over- or under-withheld because of this default, you’ll be able to make a correction when you file taxes for the year.

Want to change your withholding after your first monthly payment?

Your tax withholding election will remain in effect until you change it.

You can change your tax withholding anytime after you get your first monthly payment:

Log in to PG&E PensionConnect at myPensionConnect.com > View my pension payments > Edit taxes.

FORM 4: DIRECT DEPOSIT FORM

You need to elect direct deposit if you want it for your monthly annuity—even if you had direct deposit as an employee and you plan to use the same deposit account you used as an employee. Direct deposit is not available for lump sums.

Direct deposits will be made on your regular pension pay date—generally, the first of the month. If the first falls on a weekend or holiday, there could be up to a four-day delay before your pension payment is deposited.

If you elect direct deposit, you can get a paper statement or you can access copies of your pay statements by logging in to PG&E PensionConnect. If you elect payment by check, your pay statements will be mailed with your monthly checks.

Retiree News

Want to make changes after your first pension check?

After you get your first pension payment, you can make changes at PG&E PensionConnect:

Direct Deposit

Log in to PG&E PensionConnect at myPensionConnect.com > View my pension payments > Edit payment method.

FORM 5: LUMP SUM ELECTION FORM

If you’re eligible for a lump sum, you’ll receive Form 5.

You can elect to receive your lump sum as:

  • Cash,
  • Rollover to an eligible employer plan or Individual Retirement Account (IRA), or
  • Split distribution of cash and a rollover.

Applicable federal and state income taxes will apply.

WHEN YOUR PAPERWORK IS DUE

The PG&E Pension Service Center must receive the correctly completed pension kit by the expiration date on your kit.

You should receive a confirmation letter within two weeks after the PG&E Pension Service Center receives your correctly completed kit.

Resign Reminders

Missing or incorrect pages

If your kit has missing or incorrect pages, the PG&E Pension Service Center will send you a letter with the pages that need correcting. You’ll need to correct and return those pages by the expiration date on the original kit.

If you’re late

If the PG&E Pension Service Center receives your completed kit after the expiration date, your pension won’t start. You’ll need to complete a new kit with a new pension start date in the future.

The PG&E Pension Service Center will automatically send you a new kit with the next earliest pension start date. If you’d prefer a later pension start date, call 1-800-700-0057 and request another kit.

Complete the new kit—including new notarized forms—and return it to the PG&E Pension Service Center in time for them to get it by the expiration date on the kit.

If your paperwork is late:

  • Your retirement date will stay the same.
  • Your pension benefit will be recalculated based on your new pension start date in the future.
  • If you enrolled in a PG&E-sponsored retiree medical plan, your coverage will start on the first of the month after your retirement date (your employee coverage will continue until the end of the month in which you retire).
  • You’ll be responsible for paying retiree medical premiums out of pocket.

IMPORTANT:
Cross-outs, whiteouts or other alterations can’t be accepted—even if you initial the change.

YOUR ELECTIONS ARE IRREVOCABLE

Once you submit your correctly completed pension election kit, your elections are irrevocable. You can’t change your:

  • Form of payment
  • Pension beneficiary
  • Pension start date

To make those changes, you need to cancel your original pension election and start over. Once your pension starts, you can’t change your elections or cancel your pension.

Forms of Payment

What to do if you change your mind

Any changes you make after you submit your pension election kit will cancel your original pension election.

Call the PG&E Pension Service Center at 1-800-700-0057 to cancel your original pension election and request a new kit if you want to change your:

  • Form of payment
  • Pension beneficiary
  • Pension start date

If you’re within 30 days of your original pension start date, you’ll need to pick a new pension start date in the future.