News


'Pension reform' group turns in signatures

 

People trickled onto the sun-baked patio outside Menlo Park's city administration building to join a bubbly crowd as 1 p.m. approached on Monday, waiting for more of their number to arrive. Then somehow a decision was reached, the doors opened, and the crowd flowed into the building, pooling in front of the city clerk's desk upstairs.

If the two men sitting on a nearby bench had made a bet on what the people were there for, the one who put his money on pension reform probably would have gotten pretty favorable odds. He also would have walked away with money in his pocket.

"This is about Menlo Park being a leader, and taking the initiative," Roy Thiele-Sardina, a leader of the group, told a couple journalists outside the building. "The initiative we're proposing is the fiscally responsible thing to do."

The group said it gathered more than 3,100 signatures from Menlo Park residents in the past six weeks, over half-again the 1,882 required to put an initiative measure on the ballot. They collected so many signatures, in fact, that the city will likely be forced to hold a special election if it isn't able to arrange everything in time to present the measure to voters in November, according to City Clerk Margaret Roberts.

Mr. Thiele-Sardina and Mr. Riggs, the other leader of the initiative drive, said they had forgotten all about that possibility. After Ms. Roberts told him that it would cost the city about $60,000, Mr. Thiele-Sardina assumed roughly the pleased and sheepish expression of a kid who has broken a neighbor's window with a home run ball (the men said they had meant to avoid gathering that many signatures).

If it makes it to the ballot, and if voters approve it, the initiative would scale back public pensions for new city employees so that they would receive three-fifths of their annual salary after retiring at 60 (under the current formula, they receive four-fifths at 55). It would also require the City Council to send any future "enhancement" in pension benefits to the voters.

Many of the 100 or so volunteers who helped with the campaign came out for the event. They looked over Mr. Thiele-Sardina's shoulder as Ms. Roberts checked the paperwork and chatted and took photos of each other, but mostly just stood there, looking pleased and a touch apprehensive, happy to have been part of something that felt momentous.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Henry Riggs
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Apr 29, 2010 at 1:49 pm

One important clarification to the story: the initiative prevents a future council from increasing benefits WITHOUT VOTER APPROVAL. The same threshold applies as for the initiative itself, a simple majority of voters, if a future council really believes non-safety employee pensions should go back up. By the way, it takes a higher "super majority" to pass municipal bonds, which are likewise a long term commitment of millions of dollars and rightly must have voter consent.


Like this comment
Posted by a concerned taxpayer
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Apr 29, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Weren't these pensions approved by the same people when they were in office who are now leading the group opposed to them? It seems to me that this is like the Republicans in Congress blaming the financial problems in the United States on the current administration.


Like this comment
Posted by are you kidding?
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 29, 2010 at 4:49 pm

concerned taxpayer. The CURRENT council members were the ones who voted this, at a SECRET ballot in February 2007.

ONLY the current council is to blame for this financial disaster.


Like this comment
Posted by Stop The Blame
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 29, 2010 at 7:18 pm

You Politicos can go ahead and play all of the games you want with blaming one another. The issue IS the power the unions have had over this city, this county, this state, and the country. I do not hate unions, but this is a HUGE fairness and fiscal responsibility issue with the taxpayer's money. Fair wages, fair pension, fair benefits. If we don't have groups like this, trying to achieve something like this, we will get the same old, same old, and fall deeper into a hole. Stop the blaming, and get on the Fiscal Responsibility Wagon!


Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 29, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Why is pension reform in quotes? That is what it is... a reform on pensions.

Go initiative!


Like this comment
Posted by Leslie Halls
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Good for you folks in Menlo Park! Here in San Luis Obispo we are trying to amend our city charter via the initiatve route to halt "fee" increases as a way to stop the city from bleeding us dry to pay for all their perks and pensions. I hope you succeed and may other cities take note that the voters have had enough!

Leslie Halls
Immediate Past President
San Luis Obispo Property Owners Association
San Luis Obispo, CA


Like this comment
Posted by a concerned taxpayer
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Apr 30, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Next it will be not paying for city parks, the library, schools, etc. Sounds like a "Proposition 13" kind of mentality and look where that has gotten us. If you don't like who is in office, vote them out. Propositions and initiatives are only understood and voted on by a small minority of voters. Is this democracy?


Like this comment
Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardina
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 2, 2010 at 10:43 am

We will have volunteers out today at the Framers Market, Trader Joe's, Safeway (Menlo Park and Charon heights) and Draegers.

Please sign the Ballot Initiative.

As a reminder the initiative only applies to newly hired workers. We cannot reverse what the current employees already have.

The initiative would:

-- Reduce pension payments from four-fifths (81%) of the highest annual salary to three-fifths (60%) of the average of the highest three consecutive years;

-- Increase retirement age from 55 to 60 years old; and

-- Require voter approval of any "enhancements" to pension benefits.

Thanks for all of your support

Roy Thiele-Sardiña
Co-Chairman - Citizens for Fair and Responsible Pension Reform


Like this comment
Posted by Blue Collar Public Worker
a resident of another community
on May 2, 2010 at 1:34 pm

DO NOT BELIEVE THE HYPE HERE IS THE FOUNDERS POST:
Quote from another poster:"implement a pension plan for new employees that would increase the retirement age from 55 to 60 for non-police municipal workers".
"Change the formula for calculating pension benefits from 2.7 percent of highest annual salary multiplied by years of service to 2 percent of an average of the three highest years, multiplied by years of service".
Posted by Henry Riggs, a resident of the Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle neighborhood, on Apr 30, 2010 at 7:00 pm
" Imposing is good for a year, pending the re-opening of negotiations. Meanwhile, council cannot impose the retirement age or formula change until the AFSCME contract expires in 2012. By then we may have one to three new council persons and there will have been some serious lobbying (and legal action) by two or more unions. This is not going to happen unless the voters make it so".
Henry
This is being done and it's not in good faith


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 2, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.


PD Editorial: Six-figure club
Changes needed as state, locals pay more $100,000 pensions
LISA BENSON / Victorville Daily Press

Published: Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 4:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, April 30, 2010 at 4:17 p.m.


About a year ago, we introduced you to Bruce Malkenhorst, the grand-prize winner in the California Public Employees Retirement System sweepstakes.

Malkenhorst, the ex-city manager of Vernon (population: 96), was collecting just shy of $500,000 a year for not working. With a cost-of-living adjustment, he now gets $509,664. To stay home.

He may be No. 1, but he’s not alone. According to data published by the watchdog group California Pension Reform, there are 9,111 retired state and local government employees collecting pensions of at least $100,000 a year. A year ago, there were 6,133.

That’s a 49 percent increase in 12 months, and all the evidence points to that trend line continuing to curve upward. Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Petaluma and the Sonoma County Office of Education, among others local agencies, are represented on the $100,000 list. See for yourself at californiapension reform.com.

CalPERS’ staggering investment losses already resulted in steep rate hikes for member agencies — almost all of them facing budget trouble of their own — and new actuarial data points to yet another round of rate increases.

In his authoritative calpensions.com blog, Ed Mendel reported on a study that found public employees are making more money, retiring earlier and living longer. Factoring that into pension costs could add as much as 12 percent to employer contributions for police and firefighter pensions, and a CalPERS committee already voted to recommend adopting the actuarial study. Meanwhile, another warning about pension costs came from a Stanford University study that says the state’s public pension funds are underfunded by as much as $500 billion.

State legislators have taken steps recently to rein in some of the worst abuses of the pension system, advancing legislation to curb the practice of “spiking” to boost final salaries and to regulate placement agents, the politically connected insiders who help steer investments of pension fund money for hefty fees. But there’s been far less enthusiasm to deal with the underlying issues illustrated by the growing number of mega-pensions for younger retirees and the actuarial study showing a steep increase in long-term taxpayer costs for these benefits.

The benefits now being paid can’t be changed, and promises to thousands of current employees can’t be changed unilaterally (even though many were the beneficiaries of retroactive benefit increases at no cost to themselves). But taxpayers are legally obligated to make up any shortfalls in the pension fund, and that puts other public services at risk.

State and local agencies can’t afford to continue offering pensions that allow some workers to retire as early as age 50 with 90 percent of their pay and others to retire at 55 with 75 percent of their pay. Without a reduced benefit for new employees, pension costs will continue to crowd out education and other vital public services.

The time to act is now.
Malkenhorst, the ex-city manager of Vernon (population: 96), was collecting just shy of $500,000 a year for not working. With a cost-of-living adjustment, he now gets $509,664. To stay home.

He may be No. 1, but he’s not alone. According to data published by the watchdog group California Pension Reform, there are 9,111 retired state and local government employees collecting pensions of at least $100,000 a year. A year ago, there were 6,133.

That’s a 49 percent increase in 12 months, and all the evidence points to that trend line continuing to curve upward. Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Petaluma and the Sonoma County Office of Education, among others local agencies, are represented on the $100,000 list. See for yourself at californiapension reform.com.

CalPERS’ staggering investment losses already resulted in steep rate hikes for member agencies — almost all of them facing budget trouble of their own — and new actuarial data points to yet another round of rate increases.

In his authoritative calpensions.com blog, Ed Mendel reported on a study that found public employees are making more money, retiring earlier and living longer. Factoring that into pension costs could add as much as 12 percent to employer contributions for police and firefighter pensions, and a CalPERS committee already voted to recommend adopting the actuarial study. Meanwhile, another warning about pension costs came from a Stanford University study that says the state’s public pension funds are underfunded by as much as $500 billion.

State legislators have taken steps recently to rein in some of the worst abuses of the pension system, advancing legislation to curb the practice of “spiking” to boost final salaries and to regulate placement agents, the politically connected insiders who help steer investments of pension fund money for hefty fees. But there’s been far less enthusiasm to deal with the underlying issues illustrated by the growing number of mega-pensions for younger retirees and the actuarial study showing a steep increase in long-term taxpayer costs for these benefits.

The benefits now being paid can’t be changed, and promises to thousands of current employees can’t be changed unilaterally (even though many were the beneficiaries of retroactive benefit increases at no cost to themselves). But taxpayers are legally obligated to make up any shortfalls in the pension fund, and that puts other public services at risk.

State and local agencies can’t afford to continue offering pensions that allow some workers to retire as early as age 50 with 90 percent of their pay and others to retire at 55 with 75 percent of their pay. Without a reduced benefit for new employees, pension costs will continue to crowd out education and other vital public services.

The time to act is now.


Like this comment
Posted by Blue Collar Public Worker
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2010 at 7:29 am

Peter
How can you defend this and then these others are making too much, everyone knows some firefighter retire with huge pensions. Come on Peter you can't have it both ways. Oh I forgot this you were on the the fire board, make up your mind. FYI I think every public employee should get what the are promised. Get it straight Peter SEE POST:Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, 9 hours ago
Peter Carpenter is a member (registered user) of Almanac

Letter states:"We now live in a 24/7 world and there is no reason that the newly invented "public-safety job" cannot find essential tasks to be preformed at all hours of the day and night."

I think that you do not understand the role that firefighters play as our first responders. They are on duty, on call for us 24/7 in the event of a fire or a medical emergency or any other urgent situation.

Since we want and need them to be available around the clock we require them to be there 24/7. That is our requirement, not their choice.

When they are on duty for 24 or 48 hours at a time it is perfectly appropriate that they eat, sleep and do other things while waiting for our call for help.

Having this service provide by individuals working 8 hour shifts would be much more expensive.

We are privileged to have the dedicated and well trained firefighters who serve us 24/7.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 3, 2010 at 11:50 am

BCPW still doesn't get it.

We have a lot of superb public workers doing important jobs - like our firefighters. That does not mean that they should be paid twice the prevailing wage in the community which they serve.

What the taxpayers expect and deserve is public workers doing their job well and being paid, including benefits, a fair income.


Like this comment
Posted by Read This Peter
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2010 at 12:56 pm

The Center for State and Local Government Excellence and the National Institute on Retirement Security jointly released a study this morning comparing what state and local government employees earn compared with private sector workers. Among the findings researchers noted:

Jobs in the public sector typically require more education than private sector positions. State and local employees are twice as likely to hold a college degree or higher as compared to private sector employees. Only 23 percent of private sector employees have completed college, as compared to about 48 percent in the public sector.

Wages and salaries of state and local employees are lower than those for private sector employees with comparable earnings determinants, such as education and work experience. State workers typically earn 11 percent less and local workers 12 percent less.

During the last 15 years, the pay gap has grown: Earnings for state and local workers have generally declined relative to comparable private sector employees.

The pattern of declining relative earnings remains true in most of the large states examined in the study, although there does exist some state level variation.

Benefits make up a slightly larger share of compensation for the state and local sector. But even after accounting for the value of retirement, healthcare, and other benefits, state and local employees earn less than private sector counterparts. On average, total compensation is 6.8 percent lower for state employees and 7.4 percent lower for local employees than for comparable private sector employees.

Read more: Web Link

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Algernon
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on May 3, 2010 at 1:35 pm


So in how many jobs in the private sector can you retire at 80% of your base salary at the age of 55 without tapping savings? And what percentage of private sector jobs are essentially termination-proof, compared to public sector jobs? Not to mention public/private inequities in workload assignments and in the number of hours actually worked. (As one state worker once put it, "Nobody ever died of overwork in a civil service job.") Let's factor everything in here.


Like this comment
Posted by skeptic
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 3, 2010 at 2:06 pm

So the study is released by "Center for State and Local Government Excellence". Who are these people? Where does their funding come from?

In the study, the "less than" needs to be qualified. Are there regional/state variations? Are private/public jobs carefully matched for education/experience/seniority etc? Aggregating large groups hides more than it reveals.

Here another skeptic -
Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Transparency
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Center for State and Local Government Excellence

Web Link}

The National Institute on Retirement Security

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by game on
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 3, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Pretty amusing to see these two organizations cited. They may have managed to get themselves setup as nonprofits, but they are hardly unbiased. Both serve government and teacher unions. Any surprise that their "research" indicates that their employees work way too hard and don't get paid enough?

Fact is that in this area, public sector employees have salaries that are above average, benefits that are rare in the private sector, and retirement packages that simply don't exist elsewhere. We all know it; the local data confirm it.

Many people signed the petition, apparently 50% more than necessary. The lazy fat cats lost the first round; let's keep the momentum going.


Like this comment
Posted by Transparency
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Game On that sounds appropriate, not I live in Menlo Park and only care about me the cry of the 80's Reagan Generation


Center for State and Local Government Excellence

Web Link}


Like this comment
Posted by Transparency
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Last attempt to get the link right

Center for State and Local Government Excellence

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Transparency
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2010 at 6:18 pm

skeptic, where is the Transparency The Free Enterprise Nation and "Fox News" your citing Ha, that isn't News it's right wing propaganda.

Who We Are

The Free Enterprise Nation unites and represents individuals and businesses in the private sector to demand an end to irresponsible government spending, redistribution, debt, and tax policies. We also demand full, timely, and accurate disclosure to taxpayers of government spending and debt, including unfunded liabilities of entitlement and retirement programs.

FEN actively engages in education, advocacy and lobbying in order to accomplish these objectives.

Sounds to me like right wing politics here. You got something, we don't, and we want you to give it up so my lifestyle doesn't change. So suppress the peasant (Me) and let you have everything. You aren't looking for solutions or you would be looking at social change not taking from me so your life doesn't change. Where were you back in the 90's and early part of the new Century, I bet you were looking at your portfolio and enjoying your lifestyle while I was doing my job for less pay than the private sector and rubbing two nickles together to get by in my 1000 sq. ft. mansion. Another thing is we pay half of our own pension costs, so get off the pension thing that's my money and your not welcome to it. There are laws against that.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 3, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Actually Transparency you DON'T pay "half" your retirement cost. I don't even think blue collar worker will claim that you do. You pay 7% of your pay like most others in PERS. The COST of your retirement will be significantly higher than what you contribute. But, you knew that.


Like this comment
Posted by Transparency
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2010 at 7:37 pm

To Menlo Voter, do you have a retirement plan? do you get social security? I have a retirement plan but no social security. Even though I paid into social security for 15 years before I became a Public worker. So I guess that's fair in your mind. Besides the point I don't receive bonuses nor do I have a stock portfolio. I paid out $80,000.00 out of my own 457 plan so I could buy 5 years towards my retirement. That money is mine as well as the 7% I contribute matching what my employer pays out. Maybe you should educate yourself and stop badgering us working stiffs.

Targeting Public-Sector Unions

Web Link

Study: State and local government compensation lags private sector

Web Link

National Institute for Retirement Security's

Web Link

Center for State and Local Government Excellence

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 3, 2010 at 8:51 pm

It appears to be an exercise in futility to try to "convince" public employees that their pensions are unrealistically high. It's sad, because these workers have witnessed recent history for airline pilots and auto workers who took a similar and unrealistic stand. Even more amazing is their reluctance to accept changes THAT DON'T IMPACT THEM (they only impact new employees).

For the most part, these individuals work very hard and deserve their salaries... but they don't deserve to retire at 55 or 60 with 90% of their salary. Sorry, but somewhere we got off track and it is unsustainable.

As their employers and as the people who pay these bills, fortunately, we have the last word (at least through our elected officials). We need to make sure our elected officials get the message.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 3, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Here is some interesting information on CalPers - which BCPW assures us will produce sustainable yields - but only by covering losses like these by sending the bill to the taxpayers.
*************

Pension Fund Details Billions in Real Estate Losses

Posted in Real estate on May 03, 2010 by Kevin Brass

In 2004, faced with a “flood of capital” into real estate markets, the directors of the CalPERS investment fund, one of the largest pension funds in the country, made a fateful decision.

With yields plummeting, CalPERS sold off $16 billion of core assets and decided to shift $30 billion of the portfolio into “higher risk” real estate. At the same time, the fund, which represents California public employees, moved toward “a less formal authorization process,” giving staff less control of the risky investments, according to a new report.

Needless to say, the new strategy didn’t go well.


After buying into the market as it peaked in 2005 and 2006, CalPERS was uniquely positioned to take a beating when the market collapsed. By Sept. 2009, the fund’s commercial real estate portfolio had lost 48.8 percent of its value from a year earlier, according to a review of the fund’s strategy.

Beyond simply buying into risky projects at the height of the market, CalPERS made some fundamental errors in gambling away its members’ pension funds, notes a gentle study by Pension Consulting Alliance. Problems included increased leverage; concentrated investments in sub-markets, which increased the fund’s risk; and an “increase in the number of manager relationships and commingled investment vehicles,” the report says.

As detailed by former San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Ed Mendel in his Calpensions column, CalPERS made several massive, bonehead investments, including:



* Paying $970 million in Jan. 2007 for a majority stake in Lennar Corp., which was developing 15,000 acres near Los Angeles. The project went belly up 15 months later.
* A $500 million investment in a failed plan to build apartments on 80 acres in New York City.
* In 2005 the fund paid $3.1 billion to acquire Centerpoint, a Chicago company. One analyst estimated the fund overpaid by $900 million, even before the value of the company plummeted.
* The fund invested $91 million in a controversial plan to build condos, hotel rooms and stores over the Massachusetts turnpike in Boston. The project was never built.


Like this comment
Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardina
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 4, 2010 at 12:12 am

The Citizens for Responsible Pension Reform had a momentous day today. We turned in over 3100 signatures for the ballot initiative to the Menlo Park Clerks Office.

We collected the largest number of signatures ever collected in Menlo Park for an initiative or referendum. We did this in just under six short weeks with a group of all volunteers from Menlo Park.

The signatures constitute a non-partisan spectrum of Menlo Park residents, from every neighborhood in the city. The overwhelming support shows how important this issue is to the citizens of Menlo Park. They want a sustainable, fiscally responsible city to live in.

Thanks to everyone for your help and support

Roy Thiele-Sardiña
Co-Chairman / Citizens for Responsible Pension Reform


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 4, 2010 at 7:17 am

Transparency:

give me a break. You don't pay into social security because you don't have to. I was a civil servant for awhile myself. I know you can opt out. I was happy to give that 7% to my retiremnet fund rather than social security because I knew I'd get a whole lot more money back in retiremnet than I would with social security. You bought 5 years with $80,000? Big deal. That will probably only cover one year of your costs after your retire. And no I don't have a big stock portfolio, nor am I rich. I'm just a working stiff like you. But unlike you, I can see your retiremnet benefits are simply unsustainable as they currently are and I know Calpers will be sticking their hand in my pocket to cover the shortfall.


Like this comment
Posted by Giveit up
a resident of another community
on May 4, 2010 at 8:20 am

California has, like the rest of the country, NO PLAN.
It will be interesting to see the beginning of panicking in the streets.
Meanwhile, restore all historical monuments. Like our City Halls on the Peninsula.


Like this comment
Posted by cornfused
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 4, 2010 at 11:31 am

I keep reading post after post that is not fair for public employees to retire at age 55 with 80 percent of their salary. It is my understanding that a public service employee would need to start his/her public services at or before the age 25, then work in the public service field for 30 years. The 80 percent formula can only be achieved after 30 years of service. You may ask how can this be? It’s simple 2.7 multiplied by years of services yield the benefit. So 2.7 x 30 = 81%, Another example, a public employee with 25 years of service that entered his / her public service at age 30 could retire at age 55 but in doing so would yield a lessor benefit to the tune of 67.5 percent. If that employee continued to work until age 60 the benefit would yield the 81 percent result. So the math is simple and the myth seems wrong, most public services employees do not retire at age 55 to tune of 80 percent salary and if they did it required 30 years of service to net that result.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 4, 2010 at 12:35 pm

You are not confused, you have it right - public service workers can and do retire as early as age 50 with as much as 90% of their final salary. Many retire at 55 with as much as 80% of their final salary.

NOBODY in the private sector has as good a retirement program as do California public workers, particularly the public safety workers.


Like this comment
Posted by cornfused
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 4, 2010 at 1:07 pm

again, 30 years of service times the current 2.7 formula nets 81 percent

again, 25 years of service times the current 2.7 formual nets 67.5 percent

5 years of service times the current 2.7 formula nets 27 percent.

Do we see the pattern and understand the math

So the real question is what is the average of retirement and how many years of service on average?

Public saftey (PD / FIRE) can retire at age 50, they have the 3 at 50 formula, which is not being debated as part of this referendum.


Like this comment
Posted by Blue Collar Public Worker
a resident of another community
on May 4, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Cornfused
Myth:
The average CalPERS pensioner gets 80 percent of their pay.
September 23, 2009
Fact:
The average CalPERS member receives 50 percent or less of their pay in retirement
Myth: Police and firefighters retire at age 50 with 90 percent of pay.
September 23, 2009

Fact:

Our records indicate that over the last seven years, safety workers who retired at age 50 with 30 years of service represented 1 percent of all those retired. The reason very few ever would receive this level pension is that they would have had to start working age 20 to earn 30 years. Most start their safety careers at age 27, 28, or 29.
Twelve percent of all public safety members are subject to the 3 percent at age 55 formula. They would need 37.5 years of service at age 50 to get 90 percent, and would have had to start working at age 12.5 to earn 37.5 years. And 7 percent of all public agency safety members are subject to the 2 percent at age 50 formula. They would need to have 45 years of service at age 50 to get 90 percent, and would have had to start working at age 5 to earn 45 years.
Also here are some answers to some other questions you may have


Myth: CalPERS cannot come back from billions in losses.
September 23, 2009

Fact:
At the market’s lowest point in 2008, CalPERS assets had dropped by $100 billion. Today CalPERS has regained $40 billion in five months, and in September, its market value of assets returned to the $200 billion mark. In the last 24 years, CalPERS has had 20 years of positive returns, 16 of which were 10 percent or greater. Our Chief Investment Officer said no one knows when the markets will return, but experts believe markets are improving.

Fact:
This year, we reduced our public stock allocation not because we have lost confidence in stocks, but in part to make more assets available for private equity. We believe private equity will outperform stock earnings by at least 3 percentage points. Private equity is the strongest long-term performance of an asset class in our portfolio.

Fact:
Our 77-year investment records show that CalPERS portfolio gains significantly increased when the Board removed restrictions on global stock investing in the mid-1960s. Since then, annual portfolio growth increased sharply with the notable exceptions of the two recessions of the current decade.


Look here for the right answers they do not lie
Web Link

FYI even though he thinks he is an expert Mr. Carpenter is not always correct.


Like this comment
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 4, 2010 at 3:38 pm

BCPW -

Maybe you missed the story, but 3,100 Menlo Park employers just signed a petition demanding a change to the pension system for their employees. Here's the link: Web Link 3,100 names! That's huge and I congratulate the organizers of this initiative. 3,100 names should keep our elected officials focused.

Sorry, but I think they're on to your game, BCPW.


Like this comment
Posted by Blue Collar Public Worker
a resident of another community
on May 4, 2010 at 3:55 pm

POGO
Just so you know some of the tactics used to get those signatures will for sure come into question in court if needed. Little old ladies going door to door handing out misinformation and misdirection like gum drops. But here is the real truth you decide is this fair or just a grab for the money. Remember this the Founders would not answer if they would benefit personally form this initiative.
More Truth:
Myth: Pension Costs for the State of California have increased by 2000 percent in the last 10 years.
March 15, 2010

Fact:
This statement compares a time when the State paid little or nothing during years of robust investment earnings and took a pension holiday to the recent market cycle extremes and current economic downturn.

Fact:
In 1981-82, pension contributions for the largest category of employees cost the State 19.6 percent of payroll. For the current 2009-10 fiscal year the state is paying 16.9 percent.

Fact:
The State of California pays less as a percentage of payroll today than in did in the early 1980s.

1981/82 2009/10
State Miscellaneous 19.563% 16.917%
State Safety 20.409 18.099
CHP 31.995 28.438
School Miscellaneous 13.020 9.428


Like this comment
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 4, 2010 at 4:06 pm

And I'm sure the public workers would never mislead anyone into signing THEIR petitions.

Read the writing, BCPW, this con game about pensions is nearing an end.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda

on Sep 25, 2017 at 7:24 pm

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