CA correctional nursing for prior military?

  1. Howdy all,

    Does the CA CDC allow you to apply your military service towards retirement, e.g. "buy in" etc...

    cheers!
    •  
  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   LZRN
    bump!
  4. by   Sheri257
    You can but, IMHO, it's probably not a good deal in most cases.

    I'm not saying I'm an expert but, whenever you buy additional credit with the Calpers retirement system, you often have to pay not only your share as an employee but, also, the state's share which makes it very expensive.

    For example, my husband is a state employee (although not under corrections) and he pays about $215 a month for his retirement benefits. But, the state kicks in another $820 for their share of the benefits.

    When you buy service credit, you basically have to pay for both parts including the state's share or more than $1,000 a month.

    That's why, for example, buying credit for my husband's 33 months of service as a marine would cost us a lump sum of $22K under his retirement plan ... and that's without interest. If you bought the credit under a payment plan with interest, it would cost even more.

    Even with just the lump sum, it would take us at least six years of retirement to get that money back in his pension. And, when you consider the interest you would earn by putting that $22K in a 401K instead, it would probably take 12 years to get the money back in pension payments.

    When we've looked at Calpers service purchase options in general, we've figured it would be better to put that cash in the 401K and earn interest on it since, it would take so long to get that money back in pension payments.

    Afterall, you could be dead by the time you got the money back, and you might need the cash before then.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Dec 14, '06
  5. by   LZRN
    Thanks lizz!,

    I'll have to take it all under consideration. I have 12yrs active Marines and 3 yrs calguard so I would like use that time to my benefit but, not at any cost. I am in the research phase in reguards to the CDC but have also considered being commisioned and returning to active duty as a nurse. Right now it stand like this.
    12 active marines + 10 more if I get commisiond = around 55% retirement at age 50 or around $5000.00mo in 2016.
    I could have 16yrs at age 55 with the CDC or about 40% of what ever the base pay is at that time.

    cheers!





    Quote from lizz
    You can but, IMHO, it's probably not a good deal in most cases.

    I'm not saying I'm an expert but, whenever you buy additional credit with the Calpers retirement system, you often have to pay not only your share as an employee but, also, the state's share which makes it very expensive.

    For example, my husband is a state employee (although not under corrections) and he pays about $215 a month for his retirement benefits. But, the state kicks in another $820 for their share of the benefits.

    When you buy service credit, you basically have to pay for both parts including the state's share or more than $1,000 a month.

    That's why, for example, buying credit for my husband's 33 months of service as a marine would cost us a lump sum of $22K under his retirement plan ... and that's without interest. If you did under a payment plan with interest, it would cost even more.

    It would take us at least six years of retirement to get that money back in his pension.

    When we've looked at Calpers service purchase options in general, we've figured it would be better to put that cash in the 401K since, it would take so long to get that money back in pension payments.

    Afterall, you could be dead by the time you got the money back, and you might need the cash before that.

    :typing
  6. by   Sheri257
    Quote from LZRN
    Thanks lizz!,

    I'll have to take it all under consideration. I have 12yrs active Marines and 3 yrs calguard so I would like use that time to my benefit but, not at any cost. I am in the research phase in reguards to the CDC but have also considered being commisioned and returning to active duty as a nurse. Right now it stand like this.
    12 active marines + 10 more if I get commisiond = around 55% retirement at age 50 or around $5000.00mo in 2016.
    I could have 16yrs at age 55 with the CDC or about 40% of what ever the base pay is at that time.

    cheers!
    Well ... base pay is another tricky thing in calculating CDC pension benefits. While the total pay is great and will probably be about $100K a year next year, not all of that is base pay that applies to Calpers pension benefits.

    By my calculations, only about $70K of that amount will apply to pension benefits next year. So ... at 40 percent, you'd only be looking at a pension of about $28K after 16 years ... give or take.

    HOWEVER, there's also a chance that the entire $100K salary could eventually be rolled into pension benefits over the next 16 years. That's what the state employees union has been fighting for, and they did get the base pay increased in the last contract. If that happens, then you would be looking at a pension of $40K after 16 years.

    And, there's also the chance of moving into other state positions at the CDC where the full salary is counted toward pension, which could change the numbers more in your favor.

    Unfortunately it's very complicated but, these are some of the factors to consider.

    :typing
  7. by   LZRN
    Thanks again lizz!

    Yea, there is a lot of info to digest. There are pro's and con's to the CDC and the military. The main reason I'm considering CDC is the $$$ , the fact that Donovan state prison is less than 10 min from my house and working for the CDC I won't have to uproot my family. I also have A BS in Criminal Justice and would hope at some point that might come in handy or be an advantage for upward mobility.

    Quote from lizz
    Well ... base pay is another tricky thing in calculating CDC pension benefits. While the total pay is great and will probably be about $100K a year next year, not all of that is base pay that applies to Calpers pension benefits.

    By my calculations, only about $70K of that amount will apply to pension benefits next year. So ... at 40 percent, you'd only be looking at a pension of about $28K after 16 years ... give or take.

    HOWEVER, there's also a chance that the entire $100K salary could eventually be rolled into pension benefits over the next 16 years. That's what the state employees union has been fighting for, and they did get the base pay increased in the last contract. If that happens, then you would be looking at a pension of $40K after 16 years.

    And, there's also the chance of moving into other state positions at the CDC where the full salary is counted toward pension, which could change the numbers more in your favor.

    Unfortunately it's very complicated but, these are some of the factors to consider.

    :typing
  8. by   Sheri257
    Quote from LZRN
    Thanks again lizz!

    Yea, there is a lot of info to digest. There are pro's and con's to the CDC and the military. The main reason I'm considering CDC is the $$$ , the fact that Donovan state prison is less than 10 min from my house and working for the CDC I won't have to uproot my family. I also have A BS in Criminal Justice and would hope at some point that might come in handy or be an advantage for upward mobility.
    I don't know much about military pensions, but I did look at the federal Bureau of Prisons since there is one facility near where I live. Unfortunately, the BoP federal retirement benefits simply aren't nearly as good as the state of California.

    Of course, they say you can also collect social security benefits in addition to the BoP pension whereas you can't working for corrections. But, even if you assume there's money available for SS by the time we retire, it's really a ripoff compared with the state.

    My husband is a miscellaneous state employee which, unlike corrections, means he pays into SS. Nevertheless, we figure it will take nine years to recoup the money he's put into SS whereas, with the state, he's going to recoup what he paid into Calpers in about three years.

    So, I'll be happy not to be paying into SS when I go to work for corrections. And, in general, Calpers is the best pension I have been able to find, bar none.

    Not to mention, with $150 billion in assets, and the fact that the Calpers fund is protected by state law ... the money will be there in 20 years.

    BTW ... Calpers has really great seminars where they talk about all of this. It's very educational and definitely worth attending, IMO. We went to a seminar last summer ... very informative. They are the true experts on all of this.

    :typing
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Dec 14, '06
  9. by   tirzo13
    I don't believe Federal prison is an option, as they have a age max at hire of 36.
    And the pay is way less.

    What about the VA in La Jolla?.
    What about working as a civilian/federal employee as a nurse at the Hospital on Camp Pendelton, or at Balboa Naval Hospital.

    Not sure about the VA in La Jolla, but the VA in Palo Alto and the one in San Francisco pay close to what the Prisons will pay next year, plus its alot more like a real hospital, and more rewarding and the patients are more appreciative and worth your time.
    I'd much rather help someone who defended our country like you and I did, then someone who stole from it.

    I'm a LVN now, but i'm considering quitting the prison and going to the VA when i pass my RN boards, well i hope to pass in a few weeks.
    anyway, good luck.
  10. by   LZRN
    Dude
    I retake the NCLEX RN on the 21st so i'm not there yet. Right now what is important is trying to find a retirement package where I can retire and collect by 55 at the latest. I like the VA too, so I will have to look into that as well, I think thay have made some changes lately that might be worth lookin into. I guess the bottom line is if I can't find something close to the military's retirement, I'll just go back in the military, besides I love the military any way. I'm just burned out with school and need a break before I finish my BSN.

    cheers!

    Quote from tirzo13
    I don't believe Federal prison is an option, as they have a age max at hire of 36.
    And the pay is way less.

    What about the VA in La Jolla?.
    What about working as a civilian/federal employee as a nurse at the Hospital on Camp Pendelton, or at Balboa Naval Hospital.

    Not sure about the VA in La Jolla, but the VA in Palo Alto and the one in San Francisco pay close to what the Prisons will pay next year, plus its alot more like a real hospital, and more rewarding and the patients are more appreciative and worth your time.
    I'd much rather help someone who defended our country like you and I did, then someone who stole from it.

    I'm a LVN now, but i'm considering quitting the prison and going to the VA when i pass my RN boards, well i hope to pass in a few weeks.
    anyway, good luck.
    Last edit by LZRN on Dec 14, '06
  11. by   tirzo13
    I may go back into the military too, If i had 12 years in like you, it would be a much easier choice, but i just have 3.
    still, alot i miss about the military.
  12. by   Sheri257
    What are the benefits with military retirement. In other words, what is the percentage you get each year?

    Because when you look at the federal employees retirement system, it's only like 1 percent a year, plus social security .... or 1.7 percent if you work for the federal prisons plus social security. However, not only are the social security payouts pretty small but, it can also be reduced even further if you collect a government pension.

    With California prisons the benefits are 2.5 percent per year without social security. So, I was just wondering how a military pension compares with all of that.

    :typing

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