Frequently Asked Questions:
If you disagree with an action taken by CalSTRS, contact us to convey your concerns. Depending on the specific situation or issue, we may provide you with additional information, or we may take steps to resolve the issue.
If you are not satisfied with that initial response, you may ask for a “Decision” on the matter in writing, and if issued, it will generally be sent to you by the director of the CalSTRS program area to which the matter was assigned. A “Decision” is one that is designated as final by the director, and sets forth the facts, laws and analysis supporting the program decision.
If you disagree with the Decision, you may request an Executive Review of that Decision by the executive who oversees the program area involved with your issue. The Program Executive may issue a “Determination,” as described in more detail below, under “How do I request an Executive Review if I disagree with a Decision?”
If you disagree with the Program Executive’s Determination, you may request an administrative hearing, as described in more detail below, under “How do I request a hearing if I am not granted an Executive Review or if I disagree with the Determination?”
The hearing will be conducted by an administrative law judge with the Office of Administrative Hearings. After the administrative hearing, the administrative law judge will issue a proposed decision. The Appeals Committee of the Teachers’ Retirement Board considers the proposed decision and makes the final decision.
A brief description of the administrative remedy process follows. It is not intended to take the place of the law, regulations or the written procedures for the administrative remedy process. For more information, please see California Code of Regulations, title 5, sections 27100-27103 and Education Code section 22219.
If you disagree with a Decision issued by the director of a CalSTRS program area, you may request an Executive Review by the executive who oversees the program area within 45 days of the date of the Decision by submitting a letter to CalSTRS or by emailing CalSTRSInternalReview@CalSTRS.com.
Your request for an Executive Review must be in writing and must include a statement of all relevant facts, law and other information that you believe provide a legal basis for CalSTRS to reverse the Decision, as well as all documentary evidence supporting your position.
In requesting an Executive Review, you must provide facts, law, pertinent information or documents that were not already considered by CalSTRS in making the Decision. If you do not provide any new facts, law, pertinent information or documents for CalSTRS consideration, your request for an Executive Review will be denied, and you will be notified of your right to request an administrative hearing.
If the Executive Review is conducted, the Program Executive will make a “Determination,” that is, a formal decision by that executive. If you disagree with the Determination, you will be notified of your right to request an administrative hearing, as described in more detail below, under “How do I request a hearing if I am not granted an Executive Review or if I disagree with the Determination?”
If your request for an Executive Review is denied because you did not provide any new facts, law, pertinent information or documents, or if you disagree with the Determination issued by the Program Executive, you may request an administrative hearing, which will be held before an administrative law judge with the Office of Administrative Hearings.
The request for a hearing must be made in writing within 90 days of the date of the Determination or the denial of the Executive Review. The hearing request must be directed in writing to CalSTRS Legal Services at the following address:
CalSTRS Legal Services
P.O. Box 15275 MS#3
Sacramento, California 95851.
If you do not make a written request for an administrative hearing within 90 days, the Determination will be final, and you will not be entitled to an administrative hearing.
Following the timely receipt of an administrative hearing request, CalSTRS Legal Services will process the request in accordance with the provisions of Education Code section 22219.
The administrative hearing is similar to a trial in court, with sworn testimony by witnesses, and the presentation of exhibits conducted under the rules of evidence. The hearing will be conducted by an administrative law judge with the Office of Administrative Hearings and will be open to public observation.
CalSTRS will be represented by an attorney. You may represent yourself, or you have the right to be represented by an attorney at your own expense. You or your attorney will be able to present any relevant evidence, rebut evidence, call and examine witnesses, and cross-examine opposing witnesses.
The Office of Administrative Hearings provides information relating to the hearing process, which may be found on its website at dgs.ca.gov/oah.
Once the hearing is concluded, the administrative law judge prepares a proposed decision within 30 days after the case is submitted, and a copy will later be served on you.
The proposed decision of the administrative law judge is not the final decision. The Appeals Committee of the Teachers’ Retirement Board will meet and consider the proposed decision within 100 days of receiving it.
You will be given notice as to when the Appeals Committee will meet. You may submit a brief written statement in support of your position, and you may also attend to observe the open session of the meeting.
If the Appeals Committee adopts the proposed decision, either in its entirety or with technical or other minor changes, that becomes the final decision. If the Appeals Committee does not adopt the proposed decision, it may refer the case back to the administrative law judge to take additional evidence, or decide the matter itself.
The final decision of the Appeals Committee is filed as a public record, and a copy will be served on you.
If you disagree with the Appeals Committee’s final decision, you may apply for correction of a mistake or clerical error in the decision; you may petition for reconsideration of all or part of the case; or you may request judicial review of the case by filing a petition for writ of mandate with a superior court.
You will be notified of these post-decision procedures when you are served with a copy of the Appeals Committee’s final decision.