February 1, 2018

New CalPERS Compensation Limits, Effective Immediately

BY: Nate Kowalski, Jorge Luna, Joshua Morrison

CalPERS has updated the 2018 compensation limits for classic and new members, effective immediately.  The compensation limit for classic members in 2018 is now $275,000, a $5,000 increase from 2017.  For new members, the compensation limit is now $121,388 for Social Security participants and $145,666 for non-Social Security participants, which are increases of $2,613 and $3,136 respectively.  Employees with membership dates before July 1, 1996 are not affected by the compensation limits.

The new compensation limits do not limit the salary an employer may pay; rather, they limit the amount of compensation taken into account under the defined benefit plan.  Items such as overtime, automobile allowances, and lump-sum payouts should be excluded from compensation reported.


We recommend that employers notify their employees of the applicable compensation limits, monitor these limits for each employee, and adjust their reporting accordingly.


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Attorney Bio(s)


Nate Kowalski




Nate Kowalski is a Partner in the Cerritos office and Chair of the firm’s Public Entity Labor and Employment Practice Group. He is an accomplished litigator who represents employers in both the private and public sectors. Mr. Kowalski has litigated hundreds of sensitive and complex labor and employment cases in state and federal courts and has achieved remarkable results for his clients in hearings, arbitrations, trials and appeals.

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Jorge Luna




Jorge Luna is a partner in the Cerritos office of Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo. Mr. Luna has been practicing law since 1996 in a variety of areas, including employment, construction, business litigation, intellectual property and entertainment. For the past 12 years, Mr. Luna has focused his practice exclusively on employment matters, with an emphasis on litigation.

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Joshua Morrison

Joshua Morrison

Senior Counsel

(562) 653-3200


Joshua Morrison is a senior counsel in the Cerritos office of Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo. Mr. Morrison represents California public school districts in all aspects of general education law. His areas of specialty practice include public employee discipline/dismissal, administrative hearings, matters before the Public Employment Relations Board, petitions for writ of mandate, retirement health benefits, PERS/STRS, and school district audit appeals.

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