Public pension funds are in crisis across the country, and particularly in California. The underlying cause is essentially the same everywhere
For decades, government agencies and public employees consistently failed to contribute enough money to their retirement funds, relying instead on overly optimistic estimates of how much investments would grow.
In the 14 years covered by the data analyzed by The Sacramento Bee, average first-month pensions to state police and firefighters went from $1,770 to $4,978. California Highway Patrol officers' first-month retirement payments doubled from $3,633 to $7,418, and local government safety employees' pensions went from $3,296 to $6,867.
Liberal, Financial, Greed
Dozens of retired Los Angeles employees are collecting such generous retirement pay that they exceed pension fund limits set by the Internal Revenue Service, saddling taxpayers with additional costs, a Times data analysis has found.
Their lavish pensions forced the city to establish an “Excess Benefit Plan” to pay what the pension system cannot legally cover...
The list of recipients is dominated by former cops and firefighters whose million-dollar payouts from a separate retirement program drove their incomes well over the $220,000 annual limit the IRS allows pension funds to pay.
Hypocrisy, Liberal, Crime, Incompetence, Financial, Greed, Lie, Corruption
Former head of CalPERS Fred Buenrostro has been indicted in a criminal bribery case, according Sacramento Bee's Dale Kasler. According to the report, Buenrostro was charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements to the feds. Former CalPERS board member Alfred Villalobos was also charged, the report said.
Hypocrisy, Government, Incompetence, Financial, Waste, Debt
“I don’t plan on approving anyone to attend this conference given its location. … Hawaii is just not the right message to send at this time,” William Raggio, interim general manager of the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions, warned in an email to his staff. But other pension plans couldn’t resist. Four of the state’s 24 largest independent municipal retirement systems intend to send up to five board members each, a survey by California Watch has found. They include the city of Los Angeles, as well as Contra Costa, Los Angeles and San Diego counties – which are short a combined $17.5 billion to pay promised retiree pension benefits, according to figures provided by the plans.
Government, Incompetence, Financial, Debt
Alameda County supervisors have really taken to heart the adage that government should run like a business — rewarding County Administrator Susan Muranishi with the Wall Street-like wage of $423,664 a year. For the rest of her life.
How bad is California’s public employee compensation problem? If nurses collecting $1 million in overtime pay and highway patrol officers making $500,000 are any indication, “bad” doesn’t cover the half of it.
Democrat, Incompetence, Financial, Greed
California also leads in overtime expenses, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Last year, it paid $964 million in overtime to 110,000 workers, an average of $8,741 per employee. That was more than twice the $415 million New York paid in overtime to 80,000 staff members, for an average of $5,199, and almost as much as all the other states in the database combined.
Democrat, Incompetence, Financial, Greed
In California, Governor Jerry Brown hasn’t curbed overtime expenses that lead the 12 largest states or limited payments for accumulated vacation time that allowed one employee to collect $609,000 at retirement in 2011.
Government, Incompetence, Financial, Education
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The pension system for California’s teachers has $56 billion less than it needs to cover the benefits promised to its 852,000 members and their families, the fund reported Thursday, as big investment losses in 2008 continue to reverberate. RffaHF7CYZeC
As of July 2011, 12,199 retired California employees draw six-figure pensions, according to the watchdog group, California Foundation for Fiscal Reform (CFFR), up from 9,111 in March of last year. Three of the new six-figure pensions provide the retired recipients with more than $260,000 annually, with the most generous of the three worth $271,157 per year, according to CFFR.