EIC98-3 Volume 14 Issue 3
Golden Handshake Program to Sunset

Information Circular

The legislative proposal to extend the Golden Handshake law sunset date of December 31, 1998, established by Education Code ß22714(a), did not pass in the 1997-98 legislative session.Therefore, the employers must take formal action on or before December 31, 1998, to establish the Golden Handshake window period during which employees must retire to receive the two additional years of service credit.The window period must be at least 60, but no more than 120 consecutive days.The window period can commence no sooner than the effective date of the formal action taken by the governing board and may commence after December 31, 1998. For instance, the employers must take formal action by December 31, 1998 to establish the window period in 1999 (e.g., May 1, 1999 through June 30, 1999).

Participating districts must meet all criteria listed in the Administrative Directive 94-05 dated November 1, 1994. The following information is provided as an example, and is not intended to be an exhaustive list of required criteria.

Participating districts must determine that the net effect of granting the two years of additional service credit will result in:

  • net savings to the employer; or
  • a reduction in the number of certificated or academic employees as a result of declining enrollment, as computed pursuant to Education Code ß42238.5 or ß84701; or
  • the retention of certificated employees who are credentialed to teach, or faculty who are qualified to teach, in teacher shortage disciplines.

Members must submit an application for retirement to STRS no more than six months in advance of the effective date of retirement and no later than the end of the month in which they retire. The effective date of retirement must be within the Golden Handshake window period established by the employer.

For more information on the Employer and Employee Qualifying Requirements, and certification forms which must be completed, signed, and submitted to STRS by districts participating in the Golden Handshake program, please refer to Administrative Directive 94-05 dated November 1, 1994. The Present Value Factors released in the addendum to Administrative Directive 94-05 dated March 10, 1998 are to be used for members retiring with effective dates prior to January 1, 1999. New Present Value Factors will be developed for members retiring with retirement effective dates on and after January 1, 1999 to reflect benefit increases passed by the Legislature in 1998. These factors will be released in the near future.

Questions regarding Golden Handshake procedures should be referred to Kevin Thompson at (916) 229-3534 or Sheba Bunting at (916) 229-3588.

Employer Information Circulars [EIC] are sent to school district and community college employers as informal guidance that provides immediate information on a single topic.

For an accessible version of this circular, contact ADACoordinator@CalSTRS.com.