CalPERS bucks Brown on pension spiking issue

The nail that apparently can’t be hammered down, pension spiking, popped up again yesterday when a divided CalPERS board approved union-backed pay regulations for new hires, despite objections from Gov. Brown and the League of California Cities.

Brown said the vote “undermines” his pension reform two years ago, and he asked his staff to determine what protective actions can be taken. State Controller John Chiang’s office said his audit of CalPERS spiking controls will be issued soon.

The governor objected to pensions boosts from a “temporary upgrade” to a higher-paying job. Much of the media focus has been on pension boosts from regular extra pay for nearly 100 things, some seeming like part of the job and others of little value.

The CalPERS board approved “pensionable compensation” regulations for calculating pensions for new hires under the governor’s reform, which among other things aimed to curb “spiking” or the improper manipulation of pay to boost pensions.

In the 7-to-5 vote, only one of the six board members elected by workers and retirees, George Diehr, voted with Brown appointees in opposing the new regulations. He is not running for re-election this year.

“It’s been suggested that I am either pro-employer or negative employee on this,” said Diehr, “and I don’t think that is a correct characterization.”

Diehr said he was “pro-system” and not persuaded that the new regulations are good for workers, who might make contributions for pension increases they don’t receive, or that the regulations are too costly for cities.

“I think it opens the door to abuse, and therefore bad optics,” he said.

No estimate of the cost of the new regulations has been issued. CalPERS said in a written statement the regulations, developed in public with comment from employers and employees, follow the legislation.

“Today’s decision by the CalPERS board brings much needed clarity to the definition of what is pensionable compensation for new CalPERS members,” said Rob Feckner, the CalPERS board president. “If the law is ever changed, CalPERS will of course amend our regulations accordingly.”

New legislation may be among the options considered by the governor. A union-backed state constitutional amendment, Proposition 162 in 1992, gives CalPERS and other public pension boards complete control of their funds and administration.

“Today CalPERS got it wrong,” Brown said in his statement. “The vote undermines the pension reforms enacted just two years ago. I’ve asked my staff to determine what actions can be taken to protect the integrity of the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act.”

The Brown administration argued that a “temporary upgrade” to a higher-paying job should not yield a higher pension because the reform bill, AB 340, prohibits higher pensions for “ad hoc” short-term positions for a specific purpose.

“Contributions on these ad hoc pay items increase costs for employers and employees, and they are susceptible to manipulation,” Eric Stern, an analyst for Brown’s Finance department, told the board earlier this week.

Board member, J.J. Jelincic, a former union leader, said management has control of temporary upgrades. He said the regulations only apply to persons hired after Jan. 1, 2013, leaving plenty of time to correct the regulations if they are wrong.

“If people are working out of class, they ought to get paid for it,” said Jelincic, “and part of their compensation is pension benefits.”

The Brown administration did not object to the nearly 100 extra pay items that are pensionable compensation and a “normal monthly rate of pay” under the new regulations, similar to the benefits received by workers hired before the reform took effect last year.

But the League of California Cities, agreeing with Brown’s position on temporary upgrades, urged the CalPERS board to narrow the scope of pensionable compensation and review the extra pay items to see if they still serve a public service.

Chris McKenzie, the League executive director, told the board hundreds of California cities are still in financial distress and facing six years of increasing CalPERS rates.

One unidentified city manager expects his city to go “into the red seriously” in three years, McKenzie said, largely driven by the CalPERS rate increases. He said three cities (Vallejo, Stockton and San Bernardino) have experienced bankruptcy.

“None of us, and I know you as well, want to see any more experience it,” McKenzie said. “So we believe we need to show extra care in proceeding down this road.”

Board member Henry Jones said reviews of the bankruptcies point to allocating one-time funds for ongoing expenses and other factors. “The pension impact on those cities is very, very small.”

Brown’s reform bill listed pay that cannot be used to calculate pensions, such as unused sick leave and vacation time, overtime, bonuses and allowances for housing, uniforms and vehicles. CalPERS said the bill was unclear on what pay was pensionable.

Danny Brown, a CalPERS lobbyist, told the board this week that during lengthy negotiations on the bill neither the administration nor legislative staff “gave the impression” pensionable compensation should only include base pay.

“I would be willing to state further that CalPERS, since we addressed pension spiking in 1993, that we were told our provisions of the PERL (Public Employees Retirement Law) were kind of used as a model for pensionable compensation and should not have impact on us,” he said.

Since CalPERS sponsored anti-spiking legislation, SB 53 in 1993, most of the spiking court action, as well as recent publicized spiking cases, has been in the twenty 1937 act county systems, for which similar anti-spiking legislation failed, SB 2003 in 1994.

A newspaper report of two fire chiefs in the Contra Costa County system retiring at ages 50 and 51 with pensions well above their salaries helped prompt anti-spiking legislation that was rolled into negotiations for Brown’s pension reform.

After a Contra Costa Times columnist, Daniel Borenstein, pointed out that a loophole in Brown’s reform bill could legalize pension spiking in all 20 county systems, legislators passed a quick fix, AB 197, now being contested in the courts.

Two years ago state Controller Chiang issued a report criticizing the spiking controls of the California State Teachers Retirement System, which was in a legal dispute with a fired employee, Scott Thompson, who complained of lax spiking controls.

The controller said CalSTRS did not adequately audit employers and cited examples of big pay raises shortly before retirement. CalSTRS said a new screening unit identified 270 instances of suspected spiking and some pensions were being cut.

Last year the controller’s office began an audit of CalPERS spiking controls. A Chiang spokesman, Jacob Roper, said yesterday the CalPERS audit is expected to be issued “soon.”

Reporter Ed Mendel covered the Capitol in Sacramento for nearly three decades, most recently for the San Diego Union-Tribune. More stories are at Calpensions.com. Posted 21 Aug 14

38 Responses to “CalPERS bucks Brown on pension spiking issue”

  1. Captain Says:

    “CalPERS bucks Brown on pension spiking issue”

    If I understand this correctly, CalPERS can do whatever the hell they want. Apparently that includes thumbing their noses and sending their middle-finger skyward reflecting their disdain toward the State of California, Governor Brown’s pension reform, Governor Brown, and the taxpayers of California.

    But – when it comes to legal proceedings regarding pensions & bankruptcy’s in California, Michigan and elsewhere, CalPERS claims they are just an agency of the state and therefore not subject to Federal Bankruptcy Laws.

    Can someone explain to me how CalPERS can claim thay act as an agency of the state while completely ignoring the states top official and recently approved legislation? How does that work? The word ROGUE is in complete focus.

  2. SeeSaw Says:

    Agreeing with Captain, on this? Sometime, pigs do fly, evidently.

  3. SDouglas47 Says:

    I’m not sure what you agree with Captain about.

    ” completely ignoring the states top official and recently approved legislation?”

    Is just more rant. The only real disagreement is on “temporary assignments” and that’s probably more symbolic than substantive.

  4. SDouglas47 Says:

    This headline hit a nerve. It’s kind of funny that one of the big criticisms of public sector unions is that all workers are paid the same, so there is no incentive to improve the quality or quantity of your work.

    Now we learn there are programs to financially reward typists who exceed the basic requirements, cops and firefighters who maintain better physical condition than their peers, have superior marksmanship, or engage in training and certifications above the minimum requirements, etc.

    And now it’s a BAD thing? I confess that for the last nine years of my career, I maintained a Commercial Driver License, for which I was paid an additional five percent (approximately.)

    Federal law changes in the late nineties required a commercial license for some of our larger two axle vehicles that previously required only a class C. It was cheaper and easier for the department to pay a premium to a few workers rather than renegotiate job requirements for all.

    Most of these other supplemental pay programs I have never heard of, I have no idea how much they cost (or how much they SAVE). From what I’ve read in both the articles and comments, no one else knows ANYTHING about the programs, which doesn’t seem to prevent them from being “expert” commentors.

  5. Captain Says:

    I guess it’s about time CalPERS Corruption, and the CORRUPT actions of the CalPERS Board of Administration, have finally hit a nerve.

    SDouglas, you’re last paragraph assumes others aren’t aware of the cost while confirming you don’t have a clue. Good Job!

  6. SeeSaw Says:

    I have to agree with Captain in part, SD47. It frustrates me that there is not a consensus between the various sections of the government involved in pensions and CalPERS. I don’t understand why there wasn’t a complete consensus among the Governor and those groups of what constitutes base-pay, before having a public spat.

    In your case I believe your extra salary for the special license was a correct addition to base-pay, because you maintained the special license on a continuing basis, during a specific time-period. The pensions are calculated on the highest month’s salary during your tenure, and your highest months salary while you were maintaining an additional license should be in the calculation.

    I think that things should be reasonable, and coming up with 99 new ways to spike a pension is not reasonable. When I retired, I could cash out my unused vacation leave, which was capped, and one-half of my unused sick leave–neither of which added anything to my pension.

    During my final year of employment, there was one month when I received a merit/longevity award of $1,000. There was no option at my entity for adding that amount to my final highest month–rightly so, in my view. Evidently that type of bonus will be one of the 99 extras.

  7. Captain Says:

    Why did Governor Brown’s letter only reference 1 0f 100 pension spiking mechanisms in his letter to CalPERS? There were plenty of egregious items in the other 99 pension enhancements. Governor Brown referenced his “Historic” pension legislation. While I’m not sure how HISTORIC the legislation is it was a good start. But by ignoring 99% of the just approved pension enhancement schemes, in his letter to CalPERS, at least 50% of his legislations impact has been gutted. And yet for some reason he only focuses on the one issue of “Acting Pay”.

    Why would Governor Jerry Brown not support the entirety of what he called his “Historic” pension legislation in his letter to CalPERS? It doesn’t make sense which probably means there’s much more to this story.

  8. SeeSaw Says:

    Reasonable people have differing opinions, Captain. I don’t put this situation in the category of corruption. The situation between the former Board Members and the placement agent was corruption among individuals. This situation is a political disagreement–not corruption.

  9. SDouglas47 Says:

    Do you know what the costs are, Captain?

    “No estimate of the cost of the new regulations has been issued.”

  10. SDouglas47 Says:

    Case in point:

    “at least 50% of his legislations impact has been gutted.”

    Pseudo expert. Where did that figure come from?

  11. Captain Says:

    Care to respond SDouglas:

    “CalPERS bucks Brown on pension spiking issue”

    If I understand this correctly, CalPERS can do whatever the hell they want. Apparently that includes thumbing their noses and sending their middle-finger skyward reflecting their disdain toward the State of California, Governor Brown’s pension reform, Governor Brown, and the taxpayers of California.

    But – when it comes to legal proceedings regarding pensions & bankruptcy’s in California, Michigan and elsewhere, CalPERS claims they are just an agency of the state and therefore not subject to Federal Bankruptcy Laws.

    Can you, SDouglas, explain to me how CalPERS can claim thay act as an agency of the state while completely ignoring this states top official and his recently approved legislation, which supposedly had the support of the unions? Jerry Brown used this quasi (or now maybe non-existent) pension reform to make his argument for over seven BILLION annually in increased taxes?

    The pension reform is looking more & more like a bait & switch scheme that only benefits california’s Public Employee Unions. Why is JB allowing his “Historic” pension reform to be gutted – without a fight? I know he says he wants to look into what can be done, but his actions speak much louder than his words.

    CalPERS is CORRUPT!

  12. SeeSaw Says:

    Correction: I should have said that the pension is calculated on the highest average monthly salary, for a year. Temporary, upgrade pay should be averaged into the full year. If you had maintained the higher pay with the special license for only one year out of all the years you worked, that one year is the one used to calculate the pension. You did it for nine years–no one should have any gripe with that.

  13. Berryessa Chillin' Says:

    OK, perhaps I need to refresh my memory but wasn’t this “policy” to restrict the pension “base” to “regular pay” part of the modest pension reform LAW passed by the State Legislature? How can a state board overturn a law of the State of California? If my memory is correct, then CalPERS has opened a new chapter in its sordid history– to corruption and incompetence comes outright lawlessness.

    If I thought Kamela Harris had one honest bone in her body I’d file a complaint on Monday. Unfortunately, she’s as crooked as the CalPERS crew.

  14. Captain Says:

    SeeSaw Says: “Correction: I should have said that the pension is calculated on the highest average monthly salary, for a year. Temporary, upgrade pay should be averaged into the full year.”

    Why, Seesaw? Final year computations ARE a pension spiking scheme. Private sector Defined Benefit plans use a five year average. CalPERS, before they became CORRUPT used a three year average. And now you want others to believe that “Acting Pay” should be included based on Highest 12 Months compensation, despite pension reform such as it is..

    For the record just about every one of the 99 pension enhancements are already benefiting every employee that started working prior to 1-1-2013. Now the MORONS running CalPERS (into the ground) want to reverse what little that has been acomplished. Correct me if my wrong, but I didn’t here CalPERS, their CEO, or the CalPERS Board of Corruption once mention the fiscal impact of their actions.

    CaLPERS IS CORRUPT!

  15. Captain Says:

    SeeSaw, maybe you can answer what Sdooglas47 can’t:

    If I understand this correctly, CalPERS can do whatever the hell they want. Apparently that includes thumbing their noses and sending their middle-finger skyward reflecting their disdain toward the State of California, Governor Brown’s pension reform, Governor Brown, and the taxpayers of California.

    But – when it comes to legal proceedings regarding pensions & bankruptcy’s in California, Michigan and elsewhere, CalPERS claims they are just an agency of the state and therefore not subject to Federal Bankruptcy Laws.

    Can you, Seesaw, explain to me how CalPERS can claim thay act as an agency of the state while completely ignoring this states top official and his recently approved legislation, which supposedly had the support of the unions? Keep in mind Jerry Brown used this quasi (or now maybe non-existent) pension reform to make his argument for over seven BILLION annually in increased taxes?

  16. SeeSaw Says:

    Captain I believe that the three-year average returned with PEPRA. It used to be an average of three years–the entity has the option to contract for the option of a one-year average. My entity contracted for the one year option about twenty years before I retired–that option in CalPERS is nothing new.

    How can CalPERS ignore the Governor? I can’t answer that. I want to be able to understand it all before I make final judgement on how I view this issue. I am not looking for corruption. There is definitely a political misunderstanding–corruption is usually hidden until someone brings it into the open. There is no corruption here–the parties to this are openly disagreeing.

  17. SeeSaw Says:

    CalPERS is an arm of the state, Captain. CalPERS staffers are all state employees. So how can it go against the wishes of the Governor? I want to know the answer to that question myself.

  18. Captain Says:

    Berryessa Chillin’ Says:

    “OK, perhaps I need to refresh my memory but wasn’t this “policy” to restrict the pension “base” to “regular pay” part of the modest pension reform LAW passed by the State Legislature? How can a state board overturn a law of the State of California? If my memory is correct, then CalPERS has opened a new chapter in its sordid history– to corruption and incompetence comes outright lawlessness.

    If I thought Kamela Harris had one honest bone in her body I’d file a complaint on Monday. Unfortunately, she’s as crooked as the CalPERS crew.”

    Thank you for your on-point comments regarding this very serious issue. Your post is excellent!

    I’d like to highlight the following, which I agree with 100 percent. And while I don’t want to diminish any of your other points, I think you’re spot-on regarding our so-called Attorney General:

    “If I thought Kamela Harris had one honest bone in her body I’d file a complaint on Monday. Unfortunately, she’s as crooked as the CalPERS crew.”

  19. SeeSaw Says:

    The pension reform and the tax initiative were two different issues. The state has 38,000,000 million inhabitants. We had higher taxes enacted during the term of GAS, and after he left, his taxes expired and the legislature refused to extend them. If the car registration fees had been left alone, we never would have had GAS, in the first place, and we would not even be having these tax conversations now. And why can’t you admit it–you haven’t even noticed the impact of Brown’s increased one-fourth of one cent tax increase–and neither has anyone else. Some people are just chronic complainers, no wonder how good anything works.

  20. SeeSaw Says:

    Not true that 99 pension enhancements were already being enjoyed by every public employee who worked prior to 1/1/13! There was no pension spiking where I worked. The public safety people had a uniform allowance, which my CM complained about continually; there was a CalPERS option available to add one-half of unused sick leave to service credit, but there was also the option to cash half of it in–my final cash out of capped vacation pay and unused sick leave was $23,000 before taxes. Pensions were calculated on the highest salary for a continuous year, during the employees tenure–base pay only.

  21. SeeSaw Says:

    Nobody has shown any reason for judging Kamela Harris to be dishonest. If you have evidence, bring it on, or be quiet. She is a great AG.

  22. SDouglas47 Says:

    ” there was one month when I received a merit/longevity award of $1,000.”….” Evidently that type of bonus will be one of the 99 extras.”

    I don’t think so. There are some cities and counties who have what is called “longevity pay” (the military has it too, at least they did in 1965). When a worker has reached the top pay rate for his position, he might receive, typically 2.5% pay increase after five years, and another 2.5% at the ten year mark. This is higher pay for more having more experience than a newer worker AND helps the employer retain qualified workers. The worker earns a little more than his juniors, but less than the next promotional position. I don’t call that spiking. I call it “base” pay or “regular” pay. I think the legislature agrees. I think Brown agrees. I think CalPERS agrees.

    I suspect the Captain and other malcontents consider it a scam and an egregious theft of taxpayer dollars, stealing the food from the mouths of your grandchildren. Your longevity bonus was an ad hoc, one time award, as you say, not pensionable and rightly so. As I mentioned, fifteen years ago I received a bonus for a suggestion that increased safety and saved the state considerable money. It was not pensionable either, rightly so, (and was not in my final year). If it WERE awarded in my final year and if it were pensionable, I could be one of those whose pension was HIGHER than final pay. THAT would be spiking. THAT would be an ad hoc payment. THAT is clearly not allowed by the old rules or these new rules.

    If, however, instead of a one time safety award, I had taken the training and certification to be a first aid/CPR instructor, and was paid five percent extra to routinely train my coworkers, that would become part of my regular base pay, and pensionable. Not spiking. Not ” a scam intended to extract more money from taxpayers.”

  23. SDouglas47 Says:

    ” Can you, SDouglas, explain to me how CalPERS can claim thay act as an agency of the state while completely ignoring this states top official and his recently approved legislation, which supposedly had the support of the unions?”

    Why, yes, yes I can. You came so close to explaining it yourself:

    ” If I understand this correctly, CalPERS can do whatever the hell they want.”

    You don’t understand this correctly. CalPERS, did not thumb there nose at anyone. They met with stakeholders, employees, employers, and the legislature and determined that this was the INTENT OF THE LEGISLATION.

    A CHP K9 officer is paid $156 a month for skill and duties above the normal requirements. This is part of his normal, base pay. It is pensionable. It is NOT spiking. Apparently the governor agrees with that.

    It is CalPERS interpretation that the LAW says a “temporary upgrade” to a higher-paying job ” is pensionable. Governor Brown disagrees. He is not King Brown. He cannot change the law by fiat. It can be decided by the courts, or the LAW can be amended. And that, of course, could go either way.

    SDooglas47 at your service.

  24. SeeSaw Says:

    SD47 your extra base pay was proper. I have not read yet what the 99 ways are–until I do, I can’t imagine spiking a pension with 99 extras.

  25. SDouglas47 Says:

    “Not true that 99 pension enhancements were already being enjoyed by every public employee who worked prior to 1/1/13! ”

    SeeSaw, you are correct, as usual. Just like ALL law enforcement officers did NOT get 3% @ 50.

    It was ALLOWED, by law and by CalPERS regulations. Not required. Local governments are able to negotiate with their employees within the constraints of allowable formulas and benefits.

  26. Captain Says:

    SDouglas47 Says: “I suspect the Captain and other malcontents consider it a scam and an egregious theft of taxpayer dollars, stealing the food from the mouths of your grandchildren. Your longevity bonus was an ad hoc, one time award, as you say, not pensionable and rightly so.”

    Not so, Charlie Brown. Longevity Bonuses are pensioanable compensation which means they’re paid for 25-30 years of retirement, based on calPERS actuarial projections.

    SDouglas, maybe your not aware that the only reason CalPERS funds are even 74% funded (pathetic considering they were 132 percent funded prior to CORRUPT CalPERS stealing the taxpayer reserve fund) is that they’ve been recipients of TENS of Billions of dollars in taxpayer funded Pension Oligations Bonds, while also charging the TAXPAYERS triple the cost CORRUPT CaLPERS said we would paying.

    CalPERS would be filing Bankruptcy if not for their ability to charge taxpayers whatever amount they want. How many organizations do you know that can run their business into the ground and then just charge their customers 3X the original cost for the same crappy service? I’m guessing you can’t name one single organization beyond CORRUPT CaLPERS that is getting away with raping the taxpayers – while charging EXTRA!

  27. SDouglas47 Says:

    O Captain! My Captain!

    Reading

    Comprehension

    Learn it, live it, love it.

    SeeSaw quite clearly stated that she received a ONE TIME BONUS for longevity and it was NOT pensionable. It would also clearly NOT be pensionable under CalPERS new guidelines.

    A longevity incentive, on the other hand, IS pensionable, as I stated before, ONLY if it is an ongoing regular payment. As such, it becomes part of the “normal” base pay.

    Not spiking.

    I am keenly aware of CalPERS funding status. It is one of MANY advantages of a DB system. The ability to survive market swings and business cycles and spread the risk over long periods of time.

    “Charlie Brown”. You crack me up.

  28. SeeSaw Says:

    What state of “rape” are you personally being subjected to, in taxes to CalPERS, Captain? There is no line item for CalPERS on any of my tax bills, and my overall personal tax liabilities to CA are quite reasonable and painless.

  29. SeeSaw Says:

    Just watch–Captain will not answer that question. He will ignore it and come back with more accusations–just like TL does.

    My one-time small bonus would not have become part of the conversation if I had not made the incorrect statement that the pension is figured on the retiree’s highest monthly salary. Of course it is the highest monthly salary that continued for a consecutive year. I have much to learn about this 99-point plan–that many ways? I am familiar with the old advanced degree plans where each one earned triggered additional salary– but 99 ways? It should be interesting for a new debate if nothing else. In fact, my former entity does not give out the salary increases for degrees anymore–it formally only did that for public safety anyway.

    All public entities and public workers are not numbskulls who can’t make proper decisions without the expertise of Captain. There was a world-wide financial catastrophe that wiped out one-fourth of CalPER’s entire portfolio and destroyed the financial stability of many public entities. Captain does not seem to want to recognize that as a cause of the financial turmoil that we have been dealing with for the past seven years. His judgment is stalled by his fixation on hatrid for CalPERS.

    I too, though, am not at all happy about turmoil between CalPERS and the Governor. They need to work on this.

  30. SeeSaw Says:

    SLD47. This is my take on the temporary upgrade. Please tell me if I am right or wrong:

    CalPERS says that a temporary upgrade in pay is pensionable. Governor Brown disagrees.

    This type of situation occurred at my workplace–I don’t know if it was determined as pensionable or not:

    The Bldg. Maintenance Supervisor was gone off and on for months at a time, having to take care of a terminally ill spouse. The Assistant Supervisor acted in that top position and received the pay upgrade whenever such occurred.

    CalPERS would consider that pay upgrade pensionable; Governor Brown would not. I believe that the months with the higher salary during the year being used to calculate the pension would be figured in with the remaining months for such year containing the lower salary. The average resulting monthly salary would be the amount used in the pension calculation.

    Am I correct in the way I interpret the hypothetical pension calculation on such situation? If I am correct, I would think that CalPERS is correct in its decision that the temporary upgrade would be pensionable. If the upgrade would not be required to be figured into the complete year’s salary, I would side with the Governor.

  31. SDouglas47 Says:

    SeeSaw, that has been my experience. When my supervisor was off sick, vacation, training, etc. I assumed his duties. If the duration was less than three consecutive days, no extra pay. If more than three days I received “out of class pay” (about five percent, I think), for the entire duration of his absence.

    I see no reason that pay should NOT be pensionable. Although, I don’t know whether or not it was. It never occurred to me at the time. Typically, over the last ten to fifteen years, I worked out of class an average of two weeks a year (the duties were rotated with a coworker).

    I figure in my final year that would have increased my pensionable compensation by about $120. …………
    Here’s a semi hypothetical. First part is real. A supervisor retired, leaving an opening. There was NO list of candidates because the past test was two years old, and no one left on the list. The state asked the senior leadperson to assume the job on an out of class basis (5% increase) until a new test. He took the job (sounds like a “temporary upgrade” to me) and when the test came up he passed high on the list and was made permanent. I’m not a legal scholar, but I am a taxpayer, and I say that temporary upgrade pay should be pensionable.

    If that is what Brown disagrees with, I will say Brown “got it wrong”, not CalPERS.

    The unhypothetical factor is that this did not occur in the final year, or final three years, so the question is moot.

    In your example, I agree the average resulting monthly salary should be the amount used in the pension calculation. For those hired after 1/1/13, of course, the additional salary would be averaged over THREE years, so its effect in raising pension would be less. Sounds fair to me.

  32. SDouglas47 Says:

    BUT…………

    There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your lowly experience.

    (Or my lowly experience.)

    In the upper echelons, I hear, things are……………complicated.

    My memory is not clear, and my research skills lacking, but I seem to recall the MAIN reason CalPERS addressed spiking so long ago was the (ahem) legislature, and some other highly placed bureaucrats had a tendency to promote, or increase the pay of some cohorts, shortly prior to retirement. Many of these jobs, I understand, are not subject to normal civil service rules.

    If this is still the case, I agree with the Governor in those cases.

  33. SeeSaw Says:

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think that the pension calculation has to be on the last year or the last three years. I believe it is the highest full year of the retirees tenure or in the case of three-year averaging, the highest average of the highest three years.

  34. SDouglas47 Says:

    Correct again, sorry. It’s so commonly the final year/s that didn’t consider that.

  35. SDouglas47 Says:

    Interestingly, one of the complaints about public sector unions is, negotiated pay is the same for all workers, the employee who does the minimum to get by gets paid just as much as one who works harder or smarter. There is no incentive to excel. State and local governments have considered several “pay for performance” plans which usually don’t get implemented, partly because of the difficulty in objectively rating “performance”.

    Now we learn there is a process to reward the officer who exceeds the average marksmanship or keeps himself in better physical condition than normal. There is a way to reward a faster typist, who can produce more than her peers. There is a way to encourage workers to learn special skills above the basic job requirements, or to accept additional responsibilities. We can pay a worker with five or ten years EXPERIENCE, more than the new man on the same job.

    And it’s a BAD thing? Or, as “The Independent Institute” says:

    “These pay supplements are largely scams to grab more taxpayer money. ”

    $156 a month for a K9 officer to ” handle, train, and board” a canine is a scam?

  36. SeeSaw Says:

    The jobs descriptions call for specific job duties to be filled. If the employees complete the duties and relate well with the public when serving such directly, the pay should be the same across the board. For those who fulfill duties above and beyond those described, there is reclassification, or just the personal knowledge that you are doing your job. I don’t want to see a situation where, respective, employees are in a constant competition with each other. As far as typing is concerned, it is no longer necessary to complete those pesky typing tests with a minimum of errors, because with computers the errors are immediately correctable. There have always been certain longevity benefits, where vacation accumulations increase with time on the job. Job supplements should be clear cut–like the boarding and care of the K9. The supplements that I personally sneer at a little are the second-language differentials–from my experience, the one receiving the supplement is not the one providing the service. The bottom line to this is that there is no perfect situation and never will be. There will always be those who do their jobs above and beyond and those who try to skate along. That is human nature in general–not just the public sector. The most irritating condition to me are the private-sector people that don’t realize we public sector people are taxpayers just like them, and we are going to guard the public purse as they do. They are paying too much attention to the pundits who make their livings by stirring this pot.

  37. Captain Says:

    SDouglas47 Says:

    A longevity incentive IS pensionable, as I stated before, ONLY if it is an ongoing regular payment. As such, it becomes part of the “normal” base pay. …Not spiking.

    – Based on your own statements it IS SPIKING.

    “I am keenly aware of CalPERS funding status. It is one of MANY advantages of a DB system. The ability to survive market swings and business cycles and spread the risk over long periods of time.”

    – You really don’t have a clue, do you?

    Both of you, Sdouglas & Seesaw, seem to have focused your dialogue/arguments on something not even in question. The CORRUPT CaLPERS Scheme isn’t even about the ridiculous extra pay these unions are provided. It is about how CORRUPT CALPERS – Really the CORRUPT CaLPERS UNION DOMINATED BOARD of Administration, has CORRUPTED the INTEGRITY of their own Pension Plan by disregarding PERPA & the Governor of California, while screwing the taxpayers yet again.

    While I enjoyed reading the dialogue between the two of you, which was quite good, you both completely missed the point. This argument isn’t about extra pay. It is about CalPERS allowing extra pay to become pensionable – 99 different ways, without CalPERS even providing a cost analysis – much like when SB 400 passed.

    CalPERS is a failing entity by many different definitions. Their ultimate failure will probably result from extreme arrogance, which comes from their underqualified union Board Members, whom take orders from the unions that elect them. Of course they have help from DEMOCRATS that are appointed to the BOARD of ADMINISTRATION based on their abilty to follow orders.

  38. SDouglas47 Says:

    CalPERS did not “allow” the 99 items to become pensionable. They already were, and there was no intention by the legislature to change that in PEPRA, because they have never been considered “spiking”.

    From the Aug. 25 Calpensions:

    ” In the governor’s view, the extra pay items apparently were covered by the negotiated agreement on the reform bill, AB 340 in 2012. The pay items are part of “normal monthly pay” and are set by government employers, not CalPERS.”
    ……….
    With the possible exception of “temporary upgrade” pay. Governor Brown thinks it should not be pensionable, but CalPERS interpretation of the law, as written, is that it is. Possibly it is CalPERS misinterpreting the law, but they cannot INTENTIONALLY disregard the law just because the governor doesn’t like it. The courts can rule, or the legislature can clarify the law

    Longevity pay is not spiking. It is similar to a step raise. Once granted, it becomes part of the normal pay. SeeSaws 40 year longevity bonus was different. It was a one time “ad hoc” bonus…not pensionable. When I had 25 years in, I received a gold (plate) watch and a certificate signed by Arnold Governor Schwarzenegger. Also non pensionable.

    Note: if you should EVER get a gold (plate) watch from CalTRANS, and a certificate
    signed by Arnold Governor Schwarzenegger, do NOT try to pawn either one, the humiliation!!

    Don’t ask me how I know.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 269 other followers

%d bloggers like this: