Tuesday, July 05, 2011

City Provides Background On Pension Reform Efforts

Interim Communication Director Bill Lobdell issued a Press Release late this morning that listed pension reform efforts accomplished last October. This information will help put the current attacks on the employee groups by the city council majority into perspective and - in my opinion - demonstrate, once again, that Jim Righeimer is pushing his own agenda for purely personal political reasons.

Here's the text of Lobdell's Press Release:

Backgrounder: Costa Mesa pension reform to date

COSTA MESA, CALIF.—To provide journalists and community members with some background information on pension reform in Costa Mesa, here are the steps that the city—with the help of its employee associations—undertook in October 2010 to reduce pension costs.
  • The City’s police officers agreed to pay for the first time a portion of their pension costs. Police officers are contributing 5% of their pension-eligible salary to CalPERS through April 2015.
  • The City’s firefighters agreed to pay for the first time a portion of their pension costs. The firefighters are contributing 6% of their pension-eligible salary to CalPERS through November 2011.
  • The City’s fire management agreed to pay for the first time a portion of their pension costs. They are contributing 6% of their pension-eligible salary to CalPERS through April 2015.
  • The City’s general employees agreed to contribute 5% more of their pension-eligible salary to CalPERS through April 2013 and agreed to a two-tiered retirement system in which new employees will be on a “2% at 60” plan (for 30-year employees, pensions will be worth 60% of their final years’ salary at age 60), instead of a “2.5% at 55” plan (for 30-year employees, pensions are worth 75% of their final years’ salary at age 55).

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Anonymous RickandJenn said...

Wait a minute. Wendy Leece and her union buddies say pension reform must come from Sacramento, not at the local level. What's going on here?? Could they be WRONG!

7/05/2011 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

You just can't let this go, can you? Wendy HAS been saying this for months, but her words have been ignored.

This press release makes one wonder just why it wasn't produced in January, for example... this is NOT NEW information, only information that was ignored by the council majority.

7/05/2011 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger valan2 said...

RickandJenn, it depends on how one defines "pension reform." What's happened in Costa Mesa would be more accurately described as "concessions by City employees." They agreed to pay more of their pension costs, in the same way - and with much the same effect - as if they'd agreed to a commensurate reduction in salary.

A hybrid or combination of "concessions" and "reform" is the recent change in the City's pension program for new employees, to "2% at 60," which is a reduction from both the "2.5% at 55" applicable to current employees, and the "2% at 55" that applied to employees who retired before about 2008 (I'm not certain of the exact date).

Actual "pension reform" would be accomplished at the State level, and could involve changing the formulas (2% at 55, 3% at 50, etc.) available to local agencies. And/or it could involve raising the minimum retirement age. And/or it could involve capping pension benefits - in terms of either % of final salary, how "final salary" is calculated, or a dollar cap ($100,000, $200,000, or whatever) on the annual pension that could be drawn by a retired employee.

What "pension reform" is NOT is laying off employees covered by the pension plan so you don't have to address the issue.

7/05/2011 11:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Daisy Mae said...

I guess my question is; Will this have anything to do with the massive outsourcing plan scheduled for September? Since this layoff effects general employees who already pay a significant portion into PERS and who would pay the entire contribution to keep their jobs. I am glad the City finally released this information and I am glad that Police are finally paying something into their PERS. They should pay the entire employee contribution.

7/05/2011 12:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Committed City Employee said...

What is also missing is the percentage that the "General Employees" have been contributing for a couple of years. If you note it does not say "first time" as it does regarding the other associations.

All of this happened before the election/appointment of the NEW CITY COUNCIL, so please do not give them credit.

7/05/2011 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Shills WILL press on.
It's all about Riggy grabbing power, not pension, jobs, or salaries.

He'll be laughing from Rohrabacher's seat in Washington while Costa Mesa joins Santa Ana as one of OC's less desirable cities to live in.

Maybe Monahan will benefit somehow after the bad bad motels near his bar are torn down.

7/05/2011 12:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Ptred said...

If memory serves me correctly, Wendy also spoke about already having pension reform during a city council meeting.. Riggy looked pissed because he could not claim it as is own personal victory since it happened before he was on the council. My opinion anyway.

7/05/2011 12:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Barry said...

Nice try Pot Stirrer, but blaming Righeimer for a movement that's long underway won't work. To the Police on this blog, paying YOUR portion of the employee contribution amount is not reform. Retiring at 50 is a joke. No one in the private sector will ever support that. The only reason it got by is because no one knows about it. Now the public are starting to learn. When more Americans are working until 70 to make it to an affordable retirement, hearing about Police and Fire retiring at 50 with up to 90% salary and full benefits doesn't sit well. Just because State law allows 3% at 50 doesn't mean we should do it. More Cities are running from it. Costa Mesa will be next. Once all cities get in line with reasonable salaries and benefits, Police and Fire can't threaten to go to another City claiming morale is low. The gamesmanship ends. Sacramento doesn't control this issue, cities do. It starts with the Associations and the City Councils. Reform is here!

7/05/2011 01:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Ha! said...

Riggy had NOTHING to do with the negotiated contracts.

He better get the spin going now. Lobdell will be hard pressed to find a positive spin when 911 calls for help have to wait.

p.s. How many contract extensions will Lobdell get before he is no longer interim and seen as an additional City employee? (at $3,000 a week)

7/05/2011 02:00:00 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Barry, you are so right on!!!!!

7/05/2011 03:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Barry WHOOOOOO said...

Attorneys for the Costa Mesa City Employees Association went to court today regarding a complaint against the City of Costa Mesa asking a Superior Court judge to issue a long term injunctive relief. Guess what? WE got it! Hurrah!!

7/05/2011 04:10:00 PM  
Anonymous barry stupid said...

Hey Barry you don't speak for everyone in the private sector since there are many of us, myself included, who do support cops retiring after 30 years which on average makes them closer to 55 or 60 since I don't want grandpa cop coming to my aid only to have a heart attack. Cops don't sit behind a desk and send emails they are doing manual labor and their bodies simply cannot do it for longer. SO GET OFF YOUR SOAP BOX BARRY, JUST BECAUSE YOU DON"T GET THAT PENSION DOESN"T MEAN NOBODY SHOULD- YOUR JOB IS NOT EQUAL NEITHER IS YOUR PENSION. LIVE WITH IT.

7/05/2011 05:22:00 PM  
Anonymous unionquiltersforleece said...

i notice expiration dates of the agreements. what happens then, back to old, more expensive ways automatically unless extensions granted? Or is this the base now, and no automatic move back? This would be important to know.

7/05/2011 07:00:00 PM  
Anonymous getalife....please said...

Barry, John and a bunch more are one and the same author trying to look like their own cheering section. The funny part is that they think we don't know it.
Maybe they can try and vote no on the recall under aliases too.


7/05/2011 08:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Ptred said...

Hey Barry, guess what - there are very very few people retiring at 50 so relax and don't worry. I think most employees actually retire around 60. I'm sure if you actually stopped drinking the poison punch and did your own thinking you would figure that out for yourself.

7/05/2011 09:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Barry, the police employees are picking up that portion of the "employee cost" for the following reason: In the early and mid ninties, the PD gave up sveral pay raises (in fact totaling more than the amount of the employee contribution portion) to have the city continue to pay that portion. So by foregoing the salary increase, they maintained that benefit. That has never been reported to my knowledge.

You really need to get ove the age 50 thing. First, most officers don't go at 50. Mid 50's is more like it.Second it's been said before and I'm sure will be said again and again...a geriatric cop does no one any good. If you are that envious, get yourself through an academy, strap on a gun belt and get out there.

7/05/2011 09:36:00 PM  
Anonymous I Don't Get It said...

Barry, most of the comments on this thread are from cops. You know, those people you call but they don't show up.

Sometimes they show up, but they usually don't want to write a report because it's just too much trouble. Not showing up and not writing up reports is certainly something a cop can do at any age. So, what's the problem? Why the need to retire at 50?

7/05/2011 11:36:00 PM  
Anonymous getalife...please said...

Oh yeah, "I don't get it" is also the same author as the others...Sounds alot like the guy over on Grant Street with the bad yard..

7/06/2011 07:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Sir Robert Peele said...

"I Don't get it"...I'm guessing the cops allegedly don't show or don't take a report, because you call them for trivial matters that are not crimes.

Police take "crime reports", not "I want this documented just in case" or "because I'm a tax payer and I demand it" reports.

7/06/2011 09:41:00 PM  

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