It’s in the public’s best interest to have nearly full access to pension records, according to a ruling by the First District Court of Appeals. The decision, which mirrors others in recent weeks, opens up Sonoma County Employee Retirement Association records to inspection, including names, pension amounts, age at retirement, and other sensitive information.

The disclosure of such information was deemed pertinent for transparency, to stem and prevent abuses of the pension system.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

The pensions of retired county employees are public information, a state appeals court in San Francisco ruled Monday.

The First District Court of Appeal granted a request by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat to learn the names and pension benefits of all members of the Sonoma County Employees’ Retirement Association.

“The records of expenditures of public funds must be open to public inspection,” the court said in a 3-0 ruling, similar to recent decisions in cases from Sacramento and San Diego counties.

Read the full article here.