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.
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