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  #461  
Old 03-09-2019, 11:24 AM
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Mary Pat Campbell
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CALIFORNIA

https://medium.com/@DavidGCrane/some...l-edcfebc2fe80

Quote:
Some Light At The End Of The Pension Reform Tunnel

Spoiler:
A number of you have asked for our view of a California Supreme Court decision announced earlier this week about a pension reform case entitled Cal Fire Local 2881 v. CalPERS.

While we are not experts in pension law, we were very pleased by the ruling, in particular (i) the logic it employed in upholding the 2012 pension reform’s elimination of “airtime” (which, until eliminated, allowed government employees to purchase high-yielding government-guaranteed annuities at a discount to add to their retirement income) and (ii) the opportunities for further reform presented by the combination of that logic and the court’s language in distinguishing between benefits that are and are not “deferred compensation” and associated with services that have and have not yet been performed.

The court found “airtime” benefits not to be deferred compensation and subject to the legislature’s power to amend or eliminate such benefits and noted that only when a benefit is deemed deferred compensation would the court need to determine whether or not that deferred compensation is entitled to constitutional protection (including protection, if any, under the so-called “California Rule”), and further whether the portion of that deferred compensation related to future work would be entitled to the same protection as compensation that has already been earned as a result of services provided. To us, all that provides fertile territory for more reform.

Meanwhile, the need for pension reform continues growing rapidly and despite robust stock markets, as demonstrated by this chart published in Bloomberg:


Despite nearly 7 percent annual growth in the S&P500 from 2003 through 2016, unfunded pension liabilities — the gap between pension fund assets and liabilities — exploded. That’s mostly because of “accretion,” which as explained here is growth baked into pension liabilities from the moment they are created via the employment of a deceptive accounting measure by public pension funds in the US. (For an example of a public pension that does not lie about pension liabilities when they are created, see here.) That gap will continue to grow, which means that — in the absence of reform — the crowd-out of state, local and school district budgets by pension costs will continue to grow.


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  #462  
Old 03-10-2019, 05:40 AM
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NEW YORK
ESG

https://www.osc.state.ny.us/press/re...n=pension+fund

Quote:
DiNapoli Calls on Companies to Increase Board Diversity
Targets Companies With No Women Directors

Spoiler:
March 6, 2019
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced that he has filed shareholder proposals at four portfolio companies — Gaming and Leisure Properties, New Residential Investment Corp., Sinclair Broadcast Group and Trip Advisor — seeking increased board diversity, inclusive of sex, race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and sexual orientation. The companies are among hundreds with no women directors that DiNapoli has contacted as trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund in recent months.

“Research has shown that companies with diverse boards perform better,” DiNapoli said. “Lack of diversity puts companies at a competitive disadvantage. And when companies fail to address shareholder concerns over lack of diversity they demonstrate a lack of accountability. We’ve put our portfolio companies on notice that we want them to be responsive and adopt best practices when it comes to the composition of their boards.”

To date the Fund has filed proposals seeking board diversity policies at 33 companies. The Fund has also adopted a proxy voting policy to oppose all incumbent board directors at companies that have no women directors and has voted accordingly at 616 such companies to date. In addition, in cases where companies have just one woman director, the Fund will vote against all incumbent nominating committee members. To date, it has done so at 450 such companies.

In September, DiNapoli wrote to the more than 200 companies in the Russell 3000 Index with no women directors, informing them of the Fund’s recent votes against their directors. The letter called on the companies to explain how they would address investors’ concerns regarding their lack of diversity. Among the companies that have responded to date, 10 reported having added at least one woman to their boards.

An example of the shareholder proposal is available here: https://osc.state.ny.us/press/docs/board-diversity.pdf

About the New York State Common Retirement Fund
The New York State Common Retirement Fund is the third largest public pension fund in the United States, with an estimated $207.4 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2018. The Fund holds and invests the assets of the New York State and Local Retirement System on behalf of more than one million state and local government employees and retirees and their beneficiaries. The Fund has a diversified portfolio of public and private equities, fixed income, real estate and alternative instruments.


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  #463  
Old 03-10-2019, 08:40 AM
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CALIFORNIA

https://www.businessinsider.com/cali...acation-2019-3

Quote:
Some California state workers are hoarding vacation days to get $400,000 cash payouts at retirement
Hundreds of California state employees were paid a total of $300 million for unused vacation days when they retired last year, the Los Angeles Times reported.
A prison surgeon in California walked away with the biggest payout — $456,002 before taxes.
Many of California's public employees receive a pension on top of a payout for unused vacation time.

Spoiler:
More than 450 California state employees retired with six-figure bonuses last year when they cashed out unused vacation time, the Los Angeles Times' Melody Gutierrez reported.

California cut checks worth a total of nearly $300 million to retiring employees in 2018, an LA Times analysis of state payroll data found. The salary of an employee at the time of retirement, instead of their salary when the vacation time was accrued, determines how much they're paid for the unused leave.

The state formally caps total vacation balance at 640 hours, but that rule is often not enforced. And an increase in the number of retirees has led to a 60% leap in the number of six-figure payouts since 2012, Gutierrez reported.

A prison surgeon in California walked away with the biggest payout — $456,002 before taxes — last year, while a government transportation engineer received about $405,000, which was boosted by a 4% raise he received the year before he retired, according to the LA Times. The payout was more than two times his annual salary.


Read more: It's about to get easier for millions of California workers to save for retirement

For some, their payouts are in addition to their pensions. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, 65% of state employees are covered by one of two public pension programs, which pay retirees specific monthly benefits from a pool of employee and employer contributions, as well as investment returns.

Pension benefits are calculated based on years worked, salary, and age at retirement. But with a quickly expanding and aging population, California has begun phasing out pensions as they come at a huge cost to taxpayers.


Gutierrez reported, though, that the payout data may be grossly understated because it doesn't account for legislative employees or workers for the University of California or California State University systems. It also doesn't include information for employees who decide to run the clock on their vacation days before officially retiring, such as J.J. Jelincic, a California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) worker himself, did.


Perhaps because of his experience on the job, Jelincic chose to receive vacation pay instead of a lump-sum payout, the LA Times reported, and has technically been on vacation for more than a year, during which he received a 4% raise. On paper, Jelincic is increasing his state service time and thus increasing the value of his pension.

Read more: A retirement account can reduce your tax bill, but the type you decide to use determines when

Americans on the whole have been taking less time off in recent years with the emergence of a "hustle culture" that prizes around-the-clock connectedness and long workdays. But for some jobs, skipping vacations is born out of necessity.

"Many who received large payouts worked in prisons or public safety positions, where staffing shortages and emergencies can make it difficult to schedule vacations," Gutierrez wrote. As of 2017, the departments with the highest value of unused vacation hours were the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, the California Highway Patrol, and Caltrans.

"I would have rather had been taking time off than taking a payout," Kim Zagaris, a former fire and rescue chief who retired with a pretax bonus of $216,000, told the LA Times. Still, the LA Times analysis found that the majority of workers do indeed take vacation, as most payouts for the previous year were less than $5,000.


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  #464  
Old 03-10-2019, 08:42 AM
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Mary Pat Campbell
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NORWAY
ESG
DIVESTMENT

https://www.institutionalinvestor.co...il-Investments
Quote:
Norway’s Gargantuan Pension
Fund Will Drop Oil Investments
The Government Pension Fund Global, which was built on oil proceeds, said Friday that it will divest from oil and gas production and exploration companies.


Spoiler:
One of the world’s largest asset allocators, Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global, will divest from oil and gas production and exploration companies, the Norwegian Ministry of Finance announced Friday.

The 8,256 billion Krone ($943 billion) pension fund had been considering the move since November 2017, when the nation’s Norges Bank told the Ministry of Finance to exclude the oil and gas sector from the pension fund’s benchmark.

In the announcement Friday, the finance ministry said the exclusion of oil and gas assets from the pension fund’s portfolio would reduce the vulnerability of the Norwegian economy to a “permanent oil price decline.” The pension fund was built on the proceeds from domestic oil drilling, which the Norwegian government has undertaken since 1966.

The divestiture will amount to 66 billion Krone ($7.5 billion), a spokesperson for the fund said via email Friday.

The government pension fund will use index provider FTSE Russell’s classifications to determine which companies to exclude from its investments. According to its website, the pension fund is currently invested in Marathon Oil and Murphy Oil, among a bevy of other companies.

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The choice to divest from — or to avoid investing in — an asset class or sector is nothing new for Norway’s pension fund.

The fund divested from tobacco companies in 2010, and coal in 2015. By 2017 it had also divested from nuclear weapons producers and companies breaching human rights or causing environmental damage.

The pension fund is also relatively active as a shareholder, even voting against popular companies like Apple and Berkshire Hathaway.

In 2018, Norway’s finance ministry said it would not allow the pension fund to invest in private equity, citing fees and a lack of transparency as reasons for avoiding the asset class.


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  #465  
Old 03-10-2019, 08:44 AM
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DALLAS, TEXAS

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/dall...-supreme-court
Quote:
Dallas Police and Fire Pension System wins big case at Texas Supreme Court
Spoiler:
The Dallas Police and Fire Pension System, after years of political and financial turmoil, won a major legal victory Friday from the Texas Supreme Court.

The state's highest civil court ruled against retirees who had filed suit contending that the retirement fund violated their constitutional rights when it reduced the interest rate of their Deferred Retirement Option Plan accounts — known as DROP — in 2014.

The lawsuit had cast a shadow over the retirement fund in recent years. An opinion in the plaintiffs' favor could have been devastating for the pension system, which is now on shaky-but-stable ground.

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The Dallas Police and Fire Pension System building in Dallas.(David Woo/Staff Photographer)
The Dallas Police and Fire Pension System building in Dallas. (David Woo/Staff Photographer)
The system's executive director, Kelly Gottschalk, said the decision was "an important piece in the solvency of the plan."

And while she felt confident in the system's legal footing, Gottschalk said, "you always take a risk when you're in front of the court."

The plaintiffs' attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday.

The two sides presented oral arguments before the court in October and had awaited the ruling since then.


At issue in the years-long case were system changes in 2014 meant to shore up the fund as DROP began to threaten the system's finances.

DROP allowed officers and firefighters to retire on paper while continuing to work. Participants who qualified stopped accruing credit toward their monthly pension benefit, but the benefit checks they would have received were credited to a DROP account, which for years accrued guaranteed interest rates of at least 8 percent.

The system's members voted on relatively modest and gradual reductions in the DROP rate, which had far outpaced the fund's increasingly dismal investment returns. Dallas Fire Fighters Association president Jim McDade said the changes were needed "to make the pension more sustainable."

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But those changes were too little and far too late in the face of a massive problem that was concealed for years. In subsequent years, a new administration wrote down the system's costly and unusual alternative investments at market values rather than the cost of the investments.

And the system plunged further toward insolvency in 2016 and 2017 as police and fire retirees yanked hundreds of millions of dollars out of DROP, which had few restrictions on withdrawals.

The Legislature completely overhauled DROP and the pension system in spring of 2017 after months of political maneuvering and debate. The pension system now disburses the DROP funds as annuities — effectively adding to the monthly benefit — and ended lump-sum withdrawals except in emergencies.

The plaintiffs — led by former pension trustee Larry Eddington, who helped create DROP in Dallas — continued with their suit and argued that the DROP interest rate was a protected benefit under the state Constitution.


The court, in an opinion delivered by Chief Justice Nathan Hecht, ruled that the interest rate was no such thing. The rate change was "prospective only and did not impact benefits accrued or granted within the meaning of the constitutional provision," the opinion says.

Hecht's opinion affirmed the Fifth Court of Appeals' 2016 decision in the case.

McDade said that any time one of the cases is resolved, the system and members at least get a sense of stability.

Friday's ruling figures to play a role in future cases, too. Other cities, including Fort Worth, filed amicus curiae briefs in support of the Dallas pension system.

"We think it not only helps the system with respect to its solvency but probably becomes something other pension systems around the state will consider when determining how to deal with funding issues they've got," said Josh Mond, the pension system's general counsel.

Mond said the ruling could help the Dallas system in other lawsuits, too, including one it is fighting in federal court related to the system's closure of DROP withdrawals.

"It's fair to say we were confident to begin with," Mond said. "We're certainly not less confident now."


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  #466  
Old 03-10-2019, 08:45 AM
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IOWA
FORFEITURE

https://www.argusleader.com/story/ne...on/3086293002/

Quote:
Jim Sideras will keep $9,500 monthly pension despite child porn conviction

Spoiler:
A child pornography conviction for former Sioux Falls Fire Chief Jim Sideras won't affect the monthly pension he receives through the city's pension plan.

Sioux Falls Human Resources Director Bill O'Toole said told the Argus Leader this week that Sideras, who was arrested just weeks before he was scheduled to retire and charged on 10 counts of possession in May 2017, remains eligible to receive his pension benefits accrued over 38 years of employment with the city of Sioux Falls.

Earlier: Jim Sideras to spend no time in prison on child pornography sentence

"Once you're vested in a pension benefit, there’s not a provision that says you lose your pension if you're found guilty of (any crime)," he said.

Sideras will receive a monthly pension benefit of $9,509.45 for the rest of his life. He also receives a monthly health insurance stipend of $1,471.57 per month through Nov. 1, 2024 when he becomes eligible for Medicare.

At the time of his arrest, he was earning an annual salary from the city of $146,723.20.

Sideras was convicted on one count of child pornography on Feb. 28 as a part of a plea deal. Judge Robin Houwman issued the 59 year old a suspended six-year sentence and six years probation. He was also given 180 days in county jail with 80 days suspended with eligibility to serve those days via electronic monitoring.


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  #467  
Old 03-10-2019, 05:29 PM
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NEVADA

https://www.reviewjournal.com/opinio...ility-1614687/
Quote:
COMMENTARY: PERS bill an affront to accountability

Spoiler:
We’re now in the middle of Sunshine Week, an annual celebration of our great nation’s commitment to open government and the public’s right to know. Constant vigilance is required to maintain the promise inherent in that commitment — that government information belongs to us, the people, not the individuals we elect and employ to staff the operation.

That responsibility became even more apparent earlier this month when the Government Affairs Committee held a hearing on Senate Bill 224, which would make the names of members of the state’s Public Employees’ Retirement System secret.

The public officials and retired government employees who testified in support of SB224 on March 1 may sincerely believe the arguments they made. But they’re wrong. Let’s examine their claims.

1. SB224 is necessary to prevent retired seniors from being victimized by cybercriminals.

Proponents of the bill focused on the harm that would result from releasing their most sensitive personal information — like passport and Social Security number, home address, birth certificate and so forth. However, none of that information is, or has ever been, public. SB224 would not change that. All SB224 does is reverse the recent Nevada Supreme Court decision which determined that name and pension payout data is a matter of public record. The court cited both the great public interest in such information and the lack of any evidence that such limited information would cause harm, or even increase the possibility of harm, as the basis for its decision.

This view is shared by at least 20 states — including California and New York — that, unlike Nevada, put their pension database online.

2. Public employees earn every cent they receive in retirement benefits and taxpayers have no right or reason to question it.


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State employees are among the rare few who still enjoy defined-benefit pension plans. But as the overwhelming majority of us who are now compensated with defined-contribution plans know, the days of predictable returns are a thing of the past.

When the investment returns on the money that public employees and the state of Nevada put into the system fall short, it’s the taxpayers who pick up the slack, as they have been asked to do repeatedly over the past decade. PERS costs are up nearly 70 percent over that period, and for the first time will exceed $2 billion this year. Taxpayers fund most of this cost and they are entitled to information about how the system works, including the names of those they are paying.

3. The public doesn’t need to know the names of pension recipients to provide oversight.


Hiding the names will make it much more difficult to detect fraud and abuse in the system. For instance, it will help shield public employees who are double dipping — earning retirement benefits from one state employer while maintaining employment with another. It will also offer a measure of comfort to former state employees who are earning disability benefits even though they’re not disabled, like the many former government employees who were busted only when local news organizations were able to use public information to match a name with a face.

PERS officials assured us during their testimony that their internal systems for detecting this kind of fraud are foolproof so we shouldn’t worry. This highlights perhaps the most pernicious aspect of SB224. It is a slippery slope that would chip away at Nevadans’ right to a transparent government on the grounds that the public should just trust the government to police itself.

Indeed, these same PERS officials have spent years trying to circumvent court orders requiring disclosure. Now that the Nevada Supreme Court ruled definitively that the names must be released, they moved on to the Legislature to plead their case. And we’re now supposed to trust that they’ll inform us when they discover the system they manage is being abused? Please.
Unfortunately, this bill is going to pass unless members of the public raise a stink. If you believe the names of the people whose salaries and retirement benefits you help to fund should remain public, celebrate this year’s Sunshine Week by contacting your representatives in Carson City to let them know.

Richard Karpel is executive director of the Nevada Press Association.


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  #468  
Old 03-11-2019, 05:15 AM
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Mary Pat Campbell
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PEORIA, ILLINOIS

https://www.pjstar.com/news/20190310...qampa-pensions

Quote:
Peoria City Council candidate Q&A: Pensions

Spoiler:
The Journal Star sent the following question to the 10 candidates for the Peoria City Council who will be on the ballot on April 2:

While public safety remains a priority for the city, the escalating cost of fire and police pensions has created a major conflict. How do you see resolving the need for public safety with city pensions that now take virtually all of the city’s property tax revenue?

Candidates were limited to approximately 120 words in their replies. Candidate answers have been edited to meet space requirements when needed. The Journal Star will publish candidates’ answers to a different question the next three Mondays leading up to the election of the five at-large council positions.

Here are the responses we received from eight candidates; Branden Martin and John Kelly did not respond.

Beth Jensen

Public safety is paramount to protecting the health, safety and welfare of our citizens. Structural reforms to the pension system are needed; along with priority-based budgeting and local economic growth. I have long advocated for and support the governor’s proposals last month to consolidate hundreds of Illinois public safety pension plans, including Peoria’s, and to give the fire and police pension boards more investment flexibility so that those pensions can realize greater gains. Spearheaded by Deputy Gov. Dan Hynes, these structural proposals provide for dramatic cost-savings and efficiency, and must be adopted as soon as possible. Locally, on an interim basis, priority-based budgeting is needed to review and rank every program and expenditure of the city.

Zach Oyler

The city, like other municipalities in Illinois, cannot afford the pension mandates, especially when you couple that with declining revenue from a contracting economy. We must change the types of pension plans and how they are managed. We must work together to push Springfield for pension reform. This isn’t about reducing what employees and retirees have already accrued but stopping a level of benefits we cannot afford or sustain. We also need to take a hard look at how and where resources are deployed. We cannot just continue to operate status quo while ignoring the many advances in technology. We have to provide a more efficient government from how we manage capitol, to people, to processes. We also need an increased focus on programs that build relationships with citizens such as the resident officer program.

Rita Ali


Public safety is a basic need and we must adequately protect our citizens as a high priority. Simultaneously, we must address budget requirements for other city services. To accommodate both needs, the city must expand its tax base through economic development, increase revenues through external grant resources, and position itself to make discretionary payments to shrink the unfunded liability (by millions). To simplify, this is similar to paying off a 30-year mortgage in 15-years by making discretionary payments. On a short-term basis, pension contribution bonds may be necessary to address immediate needs. Also, the city must work in partnership with unions and state legislators toward long-term solutions to address pension costs and continue to retain and attract a quality workforce.

Sid Ruckriegel


The council has struggled with escalating costs of public safety for years. The recession of 2008 reduced property tax collections and consumers shifting to online options have further eroded sales tax revenues. Public safety capacity is essential but pension and legacy costs add 92 cents to every dollar paid to public safety professionals. Now fees on car crashes are proposed. Until recently, revenues from past fees coupled with harmful personnel and service reductions in city departments to balance the budget, but city deficits continued. Many of our public safety employees cost taxpayers $150,000/year or more while median household income in Peoria is only $47,000/year. The city cannot tax, fee, fine or charge its way to maintain current levels of service. Peoria’s public safety wages and pension costs must be renegotiated because Peorians simply cannot afford them anymore.

Peter Kobak

Police and firefighters are some of the most hard-working city staff with difficult jobs. We also know that affordable housing, economic opportunity, infrastructure, and the environment play critical roles in preventing crime and improving health and safety. I will use data and best practices to fund programs that address the many factors that undermine public safety in our neighborhoods. Paying our fire and police pensions is our constitutional duty to keep promises we’ve made to employees. I will work diligently alongside state representatives to advocate for pension reform that reduces costs without reducing benefits, such as consolidating Illinois’ 650 public safety funds or exploring alternative, sustainable, retirement financing models.

Beth Akeson

We cannot tax our way out of our current financial problems. Peoria’s revenue sources are shrinking while expenses and future obligations are growing. Until we see a turnaround in property value and people’s shopping patterns, we will have to cut expenses. This past October the council was briefed on a study of our fire and emergency response services. This study was to be presented during our Oct. 23, 2018, meeting, but was deferred to address issues regarding the data collection. The briefing in October revealed we could deliver equal service at a lower cost. When this study is officially released, the city council will have a better picture of what we must do to address our fiscal situation.


Aaron Chess

What I believe we we can do to help generate money into the city pension fund is to heavily enforce fines, especially for cellphone violations, and enforce fines for when motorists litter while driving. It is something that I believe could work and the money that is collected through those violations can be put aside for the public safety pension. That way we aren’t increasing taxes on our citizens, but we are collecting revenue based on fines that are given out to citizens who are breaking the law.

Andre Allen

As a city, we must generate new sources of revenue and grow our tax base to aid our pension obligations. My #RebootPeoria Platform proposes four initiatives that all aid in growing our tax base without raising taxes. My initiatives create new, higher paying jobs, increase home ownership, aid small business success, and encourage consumer spending. Together these initiatives will grow our income, sales, and property tax base, so we don’t need to make additional cuts to public safety. A safe Peoria is essential for both the retention and recruitment of residents and business to our city; which is why our city’s current trend of cutting public safety personnel for the sake of balancing the budget does not sit well with me.


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  #469  
Old 03-11-2019, 05:16 AM
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Mary Pat Campbell
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CALIFORNIA

https://www.ocregister.com/2019/03/1...ias-taxpayers/

Quote:
What the pension ruling means for California’s taxpayers

Spoiler:
Last week, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling in Cal Fire Local 2881 v. CalPERS, a case involving public employee pensions. For taxpayers, the decision was a mixed bag. On the plus side, the court refused to find a contractual right to retain an option to purchase “air time,” a perk that allowed employees with at least five years of service to purchase up to five years of additional credits before they retire. Under this plan, a 20-year employee could receive a pension based on 25 years of contributions.

On the negative side, the high court left intact, for now, the so-called California Rule, which has been interpreted as an impediment to government entities seeking to reduce their pension costs. The rule, unique to California, provides that no pension benefit provided to public employees via a statute can be withdrawn without replacement of a “comparable” benefit, even as deferred compensation for services not yet provided.

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The unanimous 54-page opinion by the Supreme Court resulted in a wide variance of headlines and social media posts. The Associated Press read “California’s Supreme Court upholds pension rollback.” Ironically, a conservative reform group sharply criticized the decision for failing to repeal the California rule outright while another conservative policy organization called it a “victory for taxpayers.”

So what was it?

Actually, a little of both. That the powerful public employee unions would lose any battle in California is notable. And for taxpayers, an express ruling against a labor organization – which this was – can only be viewed as positive.

This is not to denigrate all public employees in California, the majority of whom earn their pay and benefits. But for taxpayers, the pension crisis is a very big deal. More than a decade ago, the unions used their political muscle to obtain benefits offered nowhere else in the nation, including a series of laws which allowed public employees to spike their pensions. As a result, California now has hundreds of billions of dollars in unfunded pension obligations. This is debt, pure and simple, with no easy way to pay down that debt without big reforms or big tax hikes.

No sane policy leader in California disputes the severity of the pension crisis, which has already manifested itself by significant impacts on other government spending. This is called “crowd-out” – the phenomenon of an increasing share of a government entity’s general fund having to pay down debt as opposed to paying for services such as police, fire, libraries, schools and trash collection.

How bad can “crowd out” get? In the city of Chicago, only a nickel of every dollar generated from property taxes goes to city services while the remaining 95 cents goes to debt reduction. Taxpayers in Illinois, like taxpayers in New Jersey, New York and Ohio, are fleeing those states for lower-tax states. And the out-migration of California citizens because of high taxes is well documented. Much of these demographic changes are being driven by the nationwide pension crisis.

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Taxpayers should also understand that this is a non-partisan issue. To his credit, former Governor Jerry Brown presented a 12-point comprehensive pension reform plan which, had it been enacted, would have solved virtually all of California’s public pension problems. Although the California legislature rejected most of the proposals, they did address some of the more egregious abuses including the airtime benefit law, which was later repealed in 2013.

If taxpayers are wondering about the extent to which further pension reforms can now be pursued in light of the Supreme Court ruling, they are not alone. Pension experts, local governments and labor interests are all wondering the same thing. However, it is fairly certain that full repeal of the California Rule in one single case is unlikely. Pension reforms will probably be upheld only if they are modest, incremental adjustments to existing benefits. We can only hope that, in the meantime, pension costs don’t crush taxpayers more than they are doing so now.

Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association


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Old 03-11-2019, 05:17 AM
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Mary Pat Campbell
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https://www.reviewjournal.com/opinio...ation-1614679/
Quote:
Nevada lawmakers want to hide public pension information

Spoiler:
The unfairness of the outrageous pensions provided by our state system is an insult to the hardworking citizens of Nevada. Yes, public servants are entitled to a secure, dignified retirement. However, basic math tells us the system is too rich in favor of the participants and will eventually fail, leaving taxpayers holding the bag.

Private citizens are forced to cobble together a retirement made up of Social Security and their own savings from 40 to 45 years of work. PERs beneficiaries are automatically rewarded with crazy, unrealistic, lifetime pensions while working much shorter time frames — not to mention the cost-of-living increases and health benefits.

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Profession financial advisers used to project investment returns of 6 percent to 8 percent. That number is now closer to 4 percent. The reality is that the world has changed. It’s time our state changed the formulas used to calculate these overpaid benefits and put the recipients on an even playing field with the honest citizens who are footing the bill.

Now Nevada lawmakers are considering a bill to hide a participant’s annual pension amounts. Perhaps even they are embarrassed by the unfairness of the situation.



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