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Pensions: What Public Employees are Getting

Newspaper database details pension range for Livermore retirees in CalPERS system; it's a context for the pension reform bill that awaits the governor's signature.

Nearly 300 retired employees of the and 501 from the are drawing pensions from the California Public Employees Retirement System.

The retirement compensation is part of a list posted by the San Jose Mercury News and other newspapers.

The CalPERS list was unveiled as the state Legislature last week approved a pension reform bill that is now on Gov. Jerry Brown's desk.

Among other reforms, the legislation raises the retirement age for most new employees from 55 to 67 to receive full benefits. It also eliminates so-called "double dipping" and caps the pensions of highly paid retired workers.

On the CalPERS database of current retirees, atop the Livermore city employees list is a former director of finance/city treasurer, Monica Potter. She retired with an initial monthly pension of $19,704 a month. Last year her total pension came to $188,566.

Twelve former city employees in 2011 took in pensions of more than $100,000 each.

At the other end of the pension list are 24 city retirees whose 2011 pensions came to less than $5,000.

Atop the list for the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District is former Superintendent Brenda Miller. She retired with an initial monthly pension of $13,396. Her 2011 total pension was nearly $228,000.

At the other end of the pension list are 14 school district retirees with 2011 gross pensions of less than $5,000.

MagWil01 September 09, 2012 at 04:25 AM
Sorry for my ignorance. If anyone has the patience to educate me I would appreciate it. I’m not taking any side, just trying to sort out the issues. Is this something new or were these pensions determined many years ago (and what year would that be)? What was the retirement age when these pensions were determined? And how long did one have to work before becoming eligible? The people who are receiving the pensions, who determined what their pensions would be? Did they have a say in it? Who oversaw it? Were there checks and balances? Was this published? Was this something for the public to vote on? Was it published? About what percentage of the pension is from money that the employee put in? 50%? How does the pension amount compare to the salary each person had when they worked? Have not some cities overturned similar pension plans either by the individuals voluntarily giving the money back or the city declaring bankruptcy?
Dick Lamb September 09, 2012 at 04:28 AM
But not enough to warrant these amounts for life no less!!!
Mike S September 09, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Citizens can thank the promotion of the Democratic Party for the huge retirements for public sector employes. The democrats are largely responsible for empowerment of unions and the collective bargaining in government employee groups. Collective bargaining created the over extended protections for union employees. The protections went way beyond the scope of basic protections. The protections overreached into mandated free healthcare and overly generous retirements. Employer paid healthcare and generous retirements are often taken in exchange for traditionally lower wages in government employment. The exceptions in California are police and firefighters where compensation skyrocketed in the late 90's and early 2000's due to the lack of qualified people. Remember during those times people were jumping to the private sector because the economy was booming and it took equivelant wages to attract solid candites. The power of the unions allowed police and fire to demand higher wages. When police and fire want a raise they do a salary survey and use it as leverage in their bargaining. All agencies had to do was compare their salary versus the salary of any department in the silicon valley and whamo - a raise. It then became a viscious cycle -Oakland PD got a raise then Livermore had to get a raise. The result: 3% @ 50. In general, public employee's got their boost from the Venture decision. I ran out of space, you will have to look up the Ventura decision.
david September 10, 2012 at 02:12 PM
No public employee benefit or wage was obtained until the political bodies: councils, boards, legislature and/or governor approved the change. Stop being angry at the worker and hold politicians responsible for their action. Most of the comments demonstrate the ill-informed public on this complicated matter. Ruby Hills is full of people with money and I dare say cops/firefighters and other government workers are not in the gated community.
Rich Buckley September 10, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Community practice of posting online budgets could help bring residents into a closer, willing partnership with government:  http://tinyurl.com/3vj6ka6

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