California Highway Patrol officers are classified as "State Safety" workers under the California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS), making them eligible for the retirement income and health benefits package offered to state employees. With employers steadily moving away from this type of defined pension plan, it is an important benefit to consider when making a career choice.
Retired CHP officers earn an annual retirement income that is determined by length of service and age at retirement. The income can be up to 90 percent of the average of the officer's three highest years of earnings. The program is administered by the CalPERS and the exact retirement benefit formula is subject to the agreement in effect at the time of service. While working, the employee is required to make contributions up to 50 percent of the normal cost of the benefit earned per year.
Medical, dental and vision benefits may also be available to retired CHP officers through CalPERS. The benefit options offered to retirees, and the amount that the retiree must contribute toward benefits costs, are also dependent upon the CHP's agreement with CalPERS, and can range from 0% to 100%.