Can I borrow or cash out any of my CalSTRS retirement benefits while I am still working in CalSTRS-covered employment?

Ask Jack Jack Ehnes

No, California law does not allow you to take a partial refund or borrow against your accumulated contributions and interest on account with CalSTRS. Under the law, only members who are no longer employed by a CalSTRS-covered employer are eligible for a refund of accumulated retirement contributions.

If you are eligible for a refund, the consequences should be carefully considered as you’ll no longer be a CalSTRS member.

Refunds on a Defined Benefit Supplement account also can only be made after having terminated employment with a CalSTRS-covered employer for at least six months and after five years have passed if a refund was previously taken.

For more information on how refunds work, read the fact sheet, Refund: Consider the Consequences or the Refunds FAQ page on