CalPERS numbers tell the story

SIGNE WILKINSON / Philadelphia Daily News

Editorial by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat | Here are a few details gleaned from a recent report on public employee pensions in California:

• Contribution levels for employers — that’s the money cities [including Fullerton], counties and other public agencies pay toward retirement benefits for their employees — are high relative to historic levels and, for many employers, they’re at record levels.

• These rates will climb even higher as the California Public Employees Retirement System continues to recoup its investment losses from the recession.

• Employers are paying at least 30 cents for every payroll dollar into more than 100 retirement plans offered by CalPERS for non-public safety employees.

• Employer contributions exceed 40 cents for every payroll dollar in more than 150 public safety retirement plans offered by CalPERS.

• For 70 plans offered by CalPERS, most of them covering public safety workers, employer costs exceed 50 cents of every payroll dollar.

• CalPERS will soon have more people collecting benefits than paying into the system.

• Employers report that contribution levels are putting “significant strain” on their budgets, “limiting their ability to provide services to the people in their jurisdiction.”

We intentionally left the source of the report out of the opening sentence.

It isn’t some think tank or advocacy group opposed to public employee pensions. It’s not a taxpayer group that wants more money for road repairs or some other service. No, these troubling facts come from CalPERS itself in a report titled “Annual Review of Funding Levels and Risks,” which was issued last month.

To read the rest of this editorial, please click here.

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2 Responses to CalPERS numbers tell the story

  1. Wes Smith, P.E. says:

    The City of Fullerton and the State of California need to get out of the business of guaranteeing public employee pensions. Pay the city workers their equivalent $125 to $400 per hour and let them worry about their own pensions. Wow! Is their equivalent pay including their GUARANTEED pensions and medical insurance that much?

  2. Barry Levinson says:

    Unfortunately, for the City of Fullerton our safety workers, police and fire, also cost the taxpayers over 40% for every safety employee payroll dollar as well. Compare this to the private sector where your employer pays only 7.65% of your wages for social security and medicare. Social security payouts represent only 20 to 25% of the benefits we the taxpayers give to our safety employees. Why? This does not even include the free retiree health care provided by us the taxpayers. As Mel Brooks so aptly stated while playing King Louis XIV in one of his movies, “It is good to be the King”, and we ladies and gentlemen are the modern day serfs to our public employee unions.

    When was the last time our Police and Fire leaders, told the public about this economic disaster in the making fact. I let the readership answer that question. I report, you decide.

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