Employee Benefits

The City provides its employees with a comprehensive package of benefits. For in-depth information about the various benefits please consult the Employee Handbook. The information below provides you with summary information and reference links to more information regarding these benefits. 




City employees who are hired in permanent positions with a workweek of twenty hours or more are eligible for health insurance, including dental and vision coverage, upon hire.

All employees hired on or after January 10, 2009 contribute 2% of pay on a pre-tax basis to the Retiree Health Care Trust Fund. Retiring employees have access to retiree healthcare if they have more than 5 years of service upon retirement. Retirees receive 100% of the City’s contribution to retiree healthcare with 20 or more years of service, 75% with 15 or more years of service, and 50% with 10 or more years of service.

For more information about San Francisco's health benefits, please go to the Health Service System web page.


The City provides employee retirement benefits through the San Francisco City and County Employees' Retirement System (SFERS). SFERS provides a defined benefit pension, funded by a combination of employee contributions, employer contributions and investment earnings. SFERS administers separate plans for safety and miscellaneous employees. A small percentage of safety employees receive their pensions from the California Public Employees Retirement System (PERS). SFERS has reciprocity agreements with many other California public pension systems, including PERS.

For employees hired on or after January 7, 2012, the City provides the following maximum pension formulas

      • Safety (i.e., Police, Fire and Sheriffs): 3% of final compensation per year of service at age 58
      • Miscellaneous Safety (e.g., Probation Officers; Juvenile Counselors): 2.7% of final compensation per year of service at age 58
      • Miscellaneous (non-safety): 2.3% of final compensation per year of service at age 65

Employees are required to make a member contribution towards retirement, typically 7.5% of compensation (9% for safety). This base contribution may increase or decrease based on changes in the employer’s required pension contribution and the employee’s rate of pay. For example, miscellaneous employees earning more than approximately $24 per hour will pay an average total pension contribution of 10.5% in fiscal year 2012-13. For more information about San Francisco's retirement benefits, please go to the SFERS' web page.




Vacation:  The City provides paid vacation leave for regularly-scheduled employees who have completed one year or more of continuous service.  Additionally, certain temporary exempt employees may also be eligible for vacation benefits.  Employees are not eligible to use vacation leave during the first year of continuous service.  Vacation benefits are provided according to the following schedule:


  • 1 through 5 years: 80 hours (10 days)
  • More than 5 years: 120 hours (15 days)
  • More than 15 years: 160 hours (20 days)

Uniformed members of the Fire Department may have different allotments depending on their schedules. These employees should consult their department's procedures for details.

Legal Holidays: The City provides 11 paid legal holidays for employees who work a regular schedule of at least 10 hours per week.


Sick Leave: The City provides sick leave for employees who work a regular schedule and who have completed six months or more of continuous service. Such employees accrue sick leave at the rate of thirteen days per year.

For policies on other leave types below, please consult the Employee Handbook.



All employees except those with public safety retirement benefits are enrolled in the Federal Social Security System, and are subject to Social Security tax deductions from pay.



The Commuter Benefits Program is a qualified transportation benefit that is approved by the IRS. An employee may elect to deduct his or her estimated eligible monthly commuting costs from salary on a pre-tax basis in order to pay for eligible transit expenses. With both online and telephone access, enrollment is easy and convenient for new participants. Employees can save up to 40% on commuting, public transit and vanpooling costs by using pre-tax dollars.


For more information, Click on the Commuter Benefits Program.



Employees who wish to take classes to improve job skills or prepare for a promotion may be eligible for tuition reimbursement. Limited funds have been set aside for this purpose.

For specific information, contact the departmental personnel officer or visit the Tuition Reimbursement web page.




Credit Unions:
City employees are eligible to join one of the following Credit Unions for savings, low cost loans through payroll deduction and other services. Call the appropriate Credit Union for further information: 

     Special Discounts for City Employees: