County of Alameda

Retirement Specialist I (#1351)

Bargaining Unit: SEIU 1021 - Clerical (010)
$30.71-$36.42 Hourly / $2,303.25-$2,731.50 BiWeekly /
$4,990.38-$5,918.25 Monthly / $59,884.50-$71,019.00 Yearly

Under general supervision, the Retirement Specialist series is a flexibly-staffed series of retirement benefit specialists within the Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Association (ACERA). Promotion from one level to another is not based on tenure with ACERA; rather it is based on demonstrated competencies and professional performance of the duties listed below.

Retirement Specialists at any level may function as a team leader on a specific project. Team leaders will be assigned projects that are commensurate with their knowledge and skill level; projects are designed to provide team members with opportunities for cross training and skills development.


Retirement Specialist I’s are the entry level position within this series. Retirement Specialist I’s will be expected to develop a broad-based fund of general retirement knowledge sufficient to counsel active, deferred and retired members in response to requests for information and guidance about retirement plan benefits and options, as well as retiree medical or other supplemental benefits. For training purposes, Retirement Specialist I’s may be involved in the more routine functions involved in counseling clients and processing case materials for sensitive or complex cases, under the guidance of other benefits staff.

NOTE: The following are the duties performed by employees in this classification. However, employees may perform other related duties at an equivalent level. Each individual in the classification does not necessarily perform all duties listed.

1. Provides superior service through counseling ACERA members: Clearly and comprehensively explains member rights and responsibilities regarding retirement plan benefits and options or supplemental benefits; provides guidance on alternative courses of action and the short- and long-term effects of members’ benefit choices.

2. Provides superior service by responding professionally and timely to inquiries from members, other ACERA staff, ACERA Board or other parties having business with ACERA or its members.

3. Analyzes case facts with knowledge of 1937 Act County Employees Retirement Law and draws a valid conclusion regarding benefit determination.

4. Conducts comprehensive review of files and researches other data sources (Retirement Information System, County’s personnel/payroll database, microfiche records, etc.) to establish all facts pertinent to a case (i.e., membership status, eligibility for benefits, etc.)

5. Develops and documents a written chronology of events in member files for use in benefit determination.

6. Performs and/or verifies required calculation of: Retirement payroll deduction, retirement service credit, account balance, cost for purchase of service credit and/or redeposit, payment amounts of purchase contracts, division of community property interest, final retirement benefits, supplemental benefits, death benefits, refund of member contributions retirement allowance estimates, state and federal withholding and deduction amounts and conversion costs of change in membership.

7. Coordinates activities and communicates with departmental payroll, personnel clerks, County Counsel and/or Risk Management to assure proper recording and filing of various application forms related to employment and retirement.

8. Prepares, reviews and processes the forms/paperwork required to pay benefits. Obtains necessary review and approval of work performed.

9. Accurately inputs and/or verifies member data into record-keeping systems.

10. Maintains confidentiality and determines appropriate release of member data.

11. Performs general office duties such as filing, photocopying, maintaining records and compiling data for reports.

12. Prepares and edits written materials such as correspondence, procedures, pamphlets, newsletter articles and retirement education materials.

13. Maintains retirement records, logs and statistics; prepares reports as requested.

14. May prepare and present, or assist in preparation and presentation, of information to the ACERA Board, or for use in training/education sessions.

15. Organizes and conducts retirement planning and information seminars; coordinates workshops with other entities.

16. Assists with the completion of special projects such as annual health care open enrollment, election of retirement trustees, data cleanup, and other activities of ACERA.

17. Prepares and processes annual 1099 tax forms for member accounts.

18. Prepares and processes members checks on a weekly/monthly basis.

19. Reconciles supplemental benefit costs.

20. Participates and prepares disability cases including analyzing medical records, consultation with medical officers and coordination of mediation for disability claims.

Retirement Specialist I

Either I

The equivalent of one year of full-time experience as an Employee Services Technician I, Payroll Records Clerk or Account Clerk II in the Alameda County classified service. (Non-classified includes District Attorney’s Office, Hospital Authority, and the Consolidated Courts.)


The equivalent of two years of full-time experience performing payroll, benefits administration, statistical or fiscal work within a public or corporate retirement system.

A Bachelor’s degree with major course work in Business or Public Administration, Accounting, Economics, Human Services or related field or possession of the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist certificate may be substituted for two years of the required experience.

NOTE: The Civil Service Commission may modify the above Minimum Qualifications in the announcement of an examination.

NOTE: The level and scope of the following knowledge and abilities are related to duties listed under the “Examples of Duties” section of this specification.

Knowledge of:

• Effective customer service techniques.
• Team-based work environment.
• Information gathering and interviewing techniques.
• Research methods.
• Basic mathematical functions and computations, including calculating percentages and prorated benefit amounts.
• 1937 Act County Employees Retirement Law.
• Word processing and spreadsheet applications and data entry skills.
• Calculators and their functions.
• Correct usage of English, including punctuation, spelling and grammar.

Ability to

• Listen attentively in order to discern members’ needs.
• Demonstrate sensitivity and interpersonal skills when interviewing and counseling members.
• Be diplomatic and tactful when dealing with a variety of people of diverse backgrounds.
• Establish and maintain professional relationships with ACERA members, ACERA staff, personnel in other departments and agencies, members of the Board of Retirement and with representatives from legal, medical or consultant firms.
• Work independently and in a team-based environment.
• Communicate effectively in oral and written form.
• Independently draft correspondence and procedures.
• Research and prepare clear, concise and comprehensive reports.
• Read, comprehend, interpret and apply laws, rules, regulations, policies and procedures.
• Maintain information system database through accurate input of data.
• Perform a variety of mathematical computations using a calculator.
• Use and/or design spreadsheet applications to automate work processes.
• Function proficiently in an automated office environment.
• Multi-task and prioritize work projects.

Old document: RS I/II/II combined
VS:jc 8/98
Old Doc: 1351h.doc
New doc: /1351-1352-1353.doc
Csc Date: 9/30/98
DRH:pf: Rev. 11/20/01
Csc Date: 1/30/02
DRH:po Revised 5/9/06
CSC Date: 6/21/2006


Alameda County offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package that affords wide-ranging health care options to meet the different needs of a diverse workforce and their families. We also sponsor many different employee discount, fitness and health screening programs focused on overall well being.  These benefits include but are not limited to*:

For your Health & Well-Being

  • Medical – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Dental – HMO & PPO Plans
  • Vision or Vision Reimbursement
  • Share the Savings
  • Basic Life Insurance 
  • Supplemental Life Insurance (with optional dependent coverage for eligible employees) 
  • County Allowance Credit
  • Flexible Spending Accounts - Health FSA, Dependent Care and Adoption Assistance
  • Short-Term Disability Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Voluntary Benefits - Accident Insurance, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity and Legal Services
  • Employee Assistance Program

For your Financial Future

  • Retirement Plan - (Defined Benefit Pension Plan)
  • Deferred Compensation Plan (457 Plan or Roth Plan)

For your Work/Life Balance

  • 12 paid holidays
  • Floating Holidays
  • Vacation and sick leave accrual
  • Vacation purchase program
  • Catastrophic Sick Leave
  • Group Auto/Home Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Commuter Benefits Program
  • Guaranteed Ride Home
  • Employee Wellness Program (e.g. At Work Fitness, Incentive Based Programs, Gym Membership Discounts)
  • Employee Discount Program (e.g. theme parks, cell phone, etc.)
  • Child Care Resources
  • 1st United Services Credit Union 

*Eligibility is determined by Alameda County and offerings may vary by collective bargaining agreement.  This provides a brief summary of the benefits offered and can be subject to change.


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