Santa Cruz, CA asked in Family Law for California

Q: Are my pension benefits community property or just the cash contributions made to my account (+ interest of course)

After I got married several contributions were made to my CalPERS account through payroll deductions which would have been community property income. Shortly thereafter I left government employment and moved out of California.

I left the funds in CalPERS. I did not work in a California government agency again until after separation. Therefore, when I got separated I was not entitled to pension benefits.

Since I was not eligible to receive pension benefits when I got separated is community property calculated based on the cash contributions made to my account through payroll deductions during marriage or is it calculated based on my pension benefits and time of service.

Thanks so much,


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1 Lawyer Answer
Angeles Susi Carrion
Angeles Susi Carrion
  • Colusa, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Pension benefits, Calpers, 401k's etc. are typically divided based on the time rule. That is, the time beginning with date of marriage and ending on date of separation. Contributions made during the marriage plus growth are determined by the plan, once provided with the date of marriage/date of separation, and each party entitled to their respective 1/2.

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