Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Robert Fellner: Four Los Angeles retirees collected $1 million-plus pension payouts last year

 
(Mod: As crazy as the City of Sierra Madre's $9 million dollars in unfunded CalPERS pension debt might be, it hasn't gotten to quite Los Angeles level here. At least not yet. But that doesn't mean they won't try.)

Robert Fellner: Four Los Angeles retirees collected $1 million-plus pension payouts last year
Four Los Angeles police and fire retirees collected over $1 million apiece in pension payouts last year, according to just-released 2015 pension data from TransparentCalifornia.com.

Retired assistant fire chief Timothy Manning’s $1,181,309 pension and benefits package was the highest of any retiree surveyed — with $996,161 coming from the controversial deferred retirement option plan (DROP).

DROP allows an employee to draw a salary and pension simultaneously for up to 5 years, with each year’s pension being deposited into an interest-bearing account. Upon actual retirement, the accumulated balance can be withdrawn either as a lump-sum payment or rolled over into an annuity.

The next three highest-compensated Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension (LAFPP) retirees were:

Retired police commander Stephen Jacobs, who collected $1,115,747
Retired deputy police chief Mark Perez, who collected $1,105,441
Retired deputy police chief Terry Hara, who collected $1,043,667

Average full-career city workers are pension millionaires

Regular city employees belong to a separate retirement plan —the Los Angeles City Employees Retirement System (LACERS) — which does not offer DROP and did not provide the cost of health benefits on an individual basis. The average full-career pension for all LACERS retirees was $63,025, which jumped to $75,624 when looking at only those who retired in the past year.

These individuals are “pension millionaires,” according to Transparent California’s research director Robert Fellner.

Fidelity Investments currently charges over $1.75 million for an annuity large enough to provide the same level of retirement income at LACERS’ average retirement age of 60.”

The top three LACERS’ pension payouts went to:

Retired personnel department general manager Margaret Whelan, who collected $235,333
Retired harbor department general manager Bruce Seaton, who collected $234,420
Retired harbor department port pilot Michael Owens, who collected $232,413

Fellner noted that the number of Los Angeles retirees who received pension and benefits packages of at least $100,000 increased nearly 22 percent since 2013.

“As the number of $100,000-plus pension payouts soared, so has the cost to taxpayers, which just hit a record-high 46 percent of payroll for safety officers and 26 percent for regular city workers.

“Including the DWP pension plan, Los Angeles spent over $1.5 billion on pension and retiree health costs alone in 2014, which represented nearly 12 percent of total expenditures.

“Studies have shown that growing retirement costs result in reduced city services, higher taxes or both.”

Leroy Baca's $342,000 payout 3rd highest amongst County retirees

Transparent California also released 2015 pension data from the Los Angeles County Employees’ Retirement Association, which does not offer DROP, but still had dozens of annual payouts of more than $250,000.

The top three pension and benefits packages received by Los Angeles County retirees went to:

Retired Harbor General chief physician Charles Mehringer, who collected $419,666
Retired Harbor General chief physician Robert Morin, who collected $344,080
Retired sheriff Leroy Baca, who collected $342,849

The number of County retirees who collected at least $100,000 increased 19 percent since 2013.


Transparent California is still working on obtaining pension payout data from the DWP, where costs have risen to astronomical heights, Fellner said.

“The 53 percent of payroll required to fund the DWP’s pension plan is, by far, the most expensive non-safety pension plan I’ve ever seen.”

To view the entire dataset in a searchable and downloadable format, visit TransparentCalifornia.com.

A full-career is defined as at least 25 years of service for police and fire retirees, and 30 years for regular retirees.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

27 comments:

  1. The biggest scam in history and people keep voting themselves higher and higher taxes to pay for it and accept lower and lower services from the employees who actually work. All of this is simply a payback for political support. If a candidate is willing to plug into the one-party state we have here in California then you get the political support of the unions in your election and during your time in office. The politician then supports every pay raise that comes down the road. The citizens are duped into not making the connection and instead buy into the ploy that you need to keep paying this to remain "competitive" with what other cities offer and that you will lose vital city services. The ultimate recourse for the public employees if they don't get there way is to just walk off the job like 1/2 the Sierra Madre Police force did. Voters panicked and voted themselves a UUT tax increase which will hold for a while until another couple of years we will see another tax increase.

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    1. This is very true 6:15

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    2. MUUT gave this city council just enough money to kick the can down the road far enough for them not to have to deal with the consequences.

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    3. bona fide rip off

      just vote against any bond or tax regardless of it's promises or purpose because without the public pension plan draining our economy with zero benefit long term to the taxpayers, we'll keep getting the same thing

      our Council should be ashamed of themselves for lying to the public about the UUT and I sincerely hope that all of them can't sleep at night but they can because they are delusional

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  2. So that one guy gets a pension of over 1 million per year for doing absolutely nothing. Why can't he be a consultant for 5 or 10 years and at least do something for that kind of money. Retiring at 50 is too young which is why they don't retire. Even they know its too young. So they take another job and combined with their pension, they are all a bunch of millionaires. But we are stupid enough to vote to have our taxes increased and retire at the age of 65 or beyond so that the public employees can retire at 50 with a lifetime pension. Go figure.

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    1. and it's not his money or money he earned

      he's benefiting from a ponzi scheme

      anybody know the numbers in SM of who is "retired", at what age and what he or she is being paid currently and in the future?

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  3. I long for the days when people went into police work because they wanted to serve. They didn't care about the money. Now its all about the money. Don't tell me how hard and dangerous the job is. Just look at the reserve deputy program for Sheriff. You have adult men and women who are willing to work for $1 per year to do that job. Show me another job where people like it so much they are willing to work virtually for free.

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    1. true and what we have are city managers and management staff making oodles of money, not solving any problems and retiring at our expense and then we have to replace them

      no way our city manager earns her paycheck - not for what she does

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  4. It is corruption. Measure UUT was a part of that. Gutless pols take money from the government unions and in exchange give them whatever they want. Sierra Madre is just a Los Angeles mini me.

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    1. The UUT was a bold face lie from day one when Buchanan, Mosca and Moran called emergency meetings and started the whole mess

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  5. Hate to say it, but most residents don't get any of this. Here or anywhere else. One of the core reasons for the corruption we see in local government is citizen ignorance.

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    1. Agreed. And the challenge we face is how to reduce our case to simple,catchy "bumper-sticker" slogans that the uninformed voter remembers and understands.
      We preach to the choir here. That may be cathartic but it is not an effective way of getting the votes we need - as the last vote in Sierra Madre proved.
      A genius Communications Science graduate needs to help us formulate an persuasive and memorable message. Any nominations?

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    2. The attention span for this stuff for many is about two sentences on a postcard picturing the wistaria vine.

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    3. So there is the challenge!
      Summarize our case in 2 simple sentences ?
      The other side do not need to do this because the electorate seem predisposed to the tax-me-more-please approach .
      We have to accept the burden of proof.

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    4. The people who advocated for the tax increase used an emotional approach. Those arguing against it took a more rational tack. Which do you think resonated more with Sierra Madre residents?

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    5. yeah they will get the news about 2 years from now when the city needs more money because SM's Calpers debt has grown to 12 million and we still had to subcontract out the PD and the Library.

      maybe taking a highly emotional approach railing against Calpers and the public pension system collapsing governments so public service employees can retire at 55 at a full salary FOREVER at taxpayer expense not based on the employee's own savings.

      the city can't fix the water pipes but it can damn make sure that the biggest cash drain and pounding debt to the city is the absurd debt supposedly owed to public retirees

      come on, how does Nancy Walsh "deserve" a 100k year salaried pension because it's not a retirement savings, her and other pensions are funded by your taxes

      they get a cushy retirement and it's the taxpayers that get the shaft

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  6. I think this Charles Mehringer worked for the same organization as Nancy Walsh.

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  7. I for one, am sick of the whole mess. I do my civic duty, I vote, go to CC meetings, write letters to CC, state and Feds. If I don't go to CC meetings, I watch it on TV. Nothing seems to change. I hate the ugliness out there. People in this town say this blog is negative, divisive, and mean spirited. Really? Try having a different opinion than their's. You are called names, shouted at, so you shut up and decide not to have a discussion with anyone. What can be done? Please tell me.

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    1. Who cares what they think. They're hypocrital, shallow and intolerant. Anyone who upsets them deserves a medal.

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    2. Not big on free speech that bunch. Some old faces doing the same old things.

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    3. you should have been around during Measure V - couldn't go into Bean Town without catching stares from the Webb Martin realtors if they knew you were for Measure V

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  8. Bottom line after the misinformed voters allowed the UUT tax back in to keep some over priced PD on the payroll and look good a parade time they let the door wide open for "Shoe Me The Money' madness to continue. End product is the money will disappear even faster along with the tin cup from city hall out stretched needing to be filled again? For those who were misinformed and didn't vote shame on you.

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    1. I agree but the fatalistic approach is not constructive. Indeed that may be it's merit ? Just stand back and watch the train-wreck. Use the wait time to formulate a plan to prevent this happening after BK.The Lakewood model seems attractive and proven effective over decades.
      We've lost this battle.But not necessarily the war against corruption in City Govt.

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  9. This is off subject ... The park on the corner of Ramona and Sunnyside has a rat problem .
    Personally,I'm not big on the possibility of plague being passed by fleas.
    To whom or what city entity handles this issue ?

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    1. The neighbors don't complain?
      Public Works? Mr. Unqualified himself.
      Planning & Community Preservation? Code enforcement.

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    2. Why not go straight to the top. Give the wealthy city manager the job of pest control.

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