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.

  • Bakersfield will pay nearly $7.5 million annually for 30 years to cover a single year’s heavy losses at the state pension fund it contracts with, city officials told the Bakersfield Californian.

    The $7.5 million will be in addition to ongoing payments. The report said the city will pay $19 million to the retirement fund this fiscal year.

  • A federal bankruptcy court judge dissolved the remaining year on Vallejo’s last hold-out employee union’s contract, according to the Vallejo Times-Herald.

    The ruling came sixth months after a ruling that courts could throw out municipal contracts during Chapter 9 proceedings.

  • Matt Young wrote in his Better Economics Blog that CALPers pension losses are hitting cities big time. He writes, “California cities have two choices, seek bankruptcy so as to void obligations, or cut back on services to pay retired city workers.”
  • Jack Dean’s Pension Watch Web site is a great source for pension-related headlines throughout the state.
  • Cities, counties and other governmental units are facing enormous financial pressures today:  growing obligations for medical benefits and pensions (particularly as the large baby boomer group hits public employee retirement age) are hitting at the same time as recession-driven declines in revenue. 

    In this difficult time, many governmental units are looking at the bankruptcy of Vallejo, Calif. and threatened bankruptcy of Jefferson County, Ala. with interest, evaluating Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy as a possible tool for dealing with growing costs and declining revenues.  There are many reasons, however, that few other governmental entities have taken that step, according to a piece here on PublicCEO.com.

  • A Los Angeles pension fund committee sided with unions by allowing early retirement payback over 15 years, according to OurLA.org.

    A board committee of LACERS – the city’s civilian pension fund – voted on Tuesday.

  • An Op-Ed in the San Francisco Chronicle discusses payroll and pension costs as a large part of local governments eyeing bankruptcy.
  • And in case you missed it …

    A Web database advocating pension reform makes public 5,115 retired California government workers who receive pensions in excess of $100,000 from CalPERS.

    The site states that all of the information was received via the Freedom of Information Act through CalPERS.

    The top 10 pensioners is led by the City of Vernon’s Bruce Malkenhorst.

Monthly Annually
BRUCE MALKENHORST $41,639.57 $499,674.84 VERNON
VERNON JOAQUIN FUSTER           $24,712.99 $296,555.88 UC LOS ANGELES
DONALD GERTH               $23,171.22 $278,054.64 CSU SACRAMENTO
JAMES STAHL $22,145.08 $265,740.96 L A CO SANIT #2
JOHN SCHLAG $21,300.04 $255,600.48 UC LOS ANGELES
WILLIAM GARRETT $21,228.81 $254,745.72 EL CAJON
RAYMOND PATCHETT $19,969.65  $239,635.80 CARLSBAD
ROBERT TOONE JR   $19,412.28 $232,947.36 PALMDALE
DIANNE OKI   $19,263.68 $231,164.16 STATE COMP INS
CARL BORONKAY $18,734.40 $224,812.80 METROPOLITAN WT

Search the entire database at www.californiapensionreform.com/calpers

More pension news to pass along? E-mail jspencer@publicceo.com