Public Employee pensions have become an increasingly hot topic throughout the state at the local government level. This roundup is dedicated to recent headlines surrounding public employee pensions.

  • The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California has 40 retirees earning salaries of $100,000 or more. The numbers come from a database provided by CalPERS. The Orange County Register writes that number may increase if the board of directors approves a new union agreement next week that will hike pension formulas by 25 percent.

  • The Sacramento Bee Editorial Board published a opinion on Wednesday about “one of the year’s worst bills,” Assembly Bill 155, is back from the dead. The public employees union measure would make it tougher for cities and counties to declare bankruptcy. Most of the provisions are now in Senate Bill 88.
  • “Unstable” is the term to describe public employee pension benefits in Bakersfield and Kern County. The Bakersfield Californian editorial explains the dire situation on a lack of good stewardship of tax dollars on the part of “leaders.”
  • A Gallup Survey on the public support of unions is showing a sharp decline. Fewer than half of Americans now approve of labor unions, according to a Global Economic Trend Analysis blog.
  • The City of Long Beach reached a tentative deal to be considered next week regarding a police officer contract that “Mandates a reduced pension benefit for new police officers of 3 percent at 55 if any three of nine agreed-upon police departments enact this formula; this could help the City save money but ensures that benefits remains competitive.” and “Guarantees that the City and the POA can discuss pension reform at any time, with a specific re-opening date on March 1, 2011.”

  • The question: How much money does the highest paid Sacramento County retiree receive each month from the county’s pension system? The Sacramento Bee gets the answer, but they don’t find out who it is that receives it.
  • This column may ruffle some feathers among public safety folks. Columnist Steven Greenhut writes that the myth of police officers and firefighters dying at a younger age is absurd. He cites some interesting CalPERS stats to support his claim.