Unit members hired prior to January 1, 1996 must have 5 years of service credit as defined by CalPERS/CalSTRS in order to qualify for lifetime medical (CBA, Article 9, section 03.1.1). Unit members hired after January 1, 1996 but before January 1, 2006 must have 10 years of employment (no % of FTE is mentioned, so 10 years at 50% would meet this requirement) in order to qualify for lifetime medical (CBA, Article 9, section 03.2.1). Unit members hired after January 1, 2006 must have 10 years of service credit (ex. 10 yrs. at 100%, 12.5yrs. at 80%, 20 yrs. at 50%, etc.) (CBA, Article 9, section 03.3.1).
In all of the cases mentioned in #2 above, the contract is silent on how long one must participate in the district’s benefits prior to retirement, so conceivably, one could work ten years (opting out for 9 of those years), sign up for benefits beginning the tenth year and retire with lifetime medical.
Hire Date Benefit Qualification
Prior to 1/1/96 Member & spouse Equivalent of 5yrs. @ 100% FTE
1/1/96 to 12/31/2005 Member only 10 yrs. of employment
1/1/2006 or After Member only Equivalent of 10yrs. @ 100% FTE