Atascadero has new pension plan

May 15, 2012

A two-tiered pension system has been adopted by the Atascadero City Council in what city officials term a “cost containment measure.”

Current public safety officers can still retire at age 50, and these employees receive a pension computed on last salary levels and years of service — the so-called “3.0 at 50” formula.

This means that a 20-year officer’s average salary for his or her last three years of employment — for example, $60,000 — would result in an annual retirement benefit of $36,000. Non-safety workers hired before July 14 can still retire at 55, also, with the same 2.5 benefit.

After the July deadline, new public safety officers will still get their 3.0 percent of highest salary, but must work until age 55. Non-public safety workers will receive a reduced  benefit of 2.0 percent.

The council action will amend the city’s contract with employees covered under the California Public Employees Retirement System (PERS).

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Hey citizens of Atascadero and neighboring cities; for a prelude of what’s to come please refer to Dan Blackburns’ well written piece of April 21, 2012 in Cal Coast News under the “Uncovered Section” entitled “Pension Reform Gaining Traction” as this article summarizes recent pension reforms throughout the State of California and along the Central Coast Region as well, in a concise way………..

Another plan that won’t provide any real help for 20+ years, and does nothing to fix the current broken plan which puts it’s losses on the backs of the taxpayers. Why should the current council care they will be gone and sitting on their spiked pensions before any of this takes effect.

I believe that the Atascadero City Council is the lowest paid council in the county. I think they receive somewhere around $300 a month with no benefits. For all the crap they take I would say the citizens of Atascadero are getting a deal Unfortunately that’s the only place that they are getting a deal.

At least initiating a 2 tier system is a step in the right direction.

Hey, here’s an idea, …….why not have everyone’s benefits be the same, let’s base it all upon Social Security benefits….? That way, the majority of people who pay taxes, and thereby pay the salaries of government employees, have a retirement on a par level with their “employees” (or civil servants, as the term is loosely used)…..That seems simple enough. Social Security doesn’t distinguish between people “in the field” or “at the office”….it’s simple enough, you choose your job and your acceptable level of personal risk, enjoy your chosen field and share the knowledge that everyone gets an equal shot at their retirement compensation!!

According to the official site:

“The maximum [monthly] benefit depends on the age a worker chooses to retire. For example, for a worker retiring at age 66 in 2012, the amount is $2,513.”.

So, I guess using the example, under the “new” cost saving rule, an Atascadero city employee earning $60,000.00 per year can retire 11 years sooner than a private enterprise employee, and make about $6000.00 more per year in retirement benefits, and if you consider 11 years of early retirement at that higher rate…….well, now you get the picture why California is 16 BILLION dollars upside down in terms of an annual budget, and why local governments are paying more for employee benefits than they expend on public services……Sorry, but it’s ridiculous, and the entitlement perspective of governmental employees is unbelievable. Wake up folks, or we’re going to be the next Greece.

Great start, A-town!

This certainly is a step in the right direction. If the new employee is unhappy with the new benefit program they certainly can quit there job and go find something that they think is better. Times are changing and people are going to have to adjust.

For example, look at the current retirement packages for the “retiring” police chiefs of Paso Robles and Atascadero, all are over $100,000 a year. Not bad for not working. Then there are the top city administrators who have “negotiated” very lucrative retirement packages for themselves. The entire system need to be transparent and corrected by our elected officials.

Hopefully some day someone will take this challenge on.

QUESTION: When two basically identical City employees who have the same credentials and experience (perhaps a different amounts of years served with the City), perform the same tasks and make the same salary or wage but HAVE DIFFERENT RETIREMENT PACKAGES, how will the workplace dynamic be affected? Will one employee be more satisfied with their job than the other, feel more appreciated, become more resentful of other Tier 1 employees, be more susceptible to bribes, more prone to theft, etc.?

WRITING ON THE WALL: The future City workforce will be consultants who will outsource and offshore labor and technical work, reaping huge profits for the exec’s, eliminating decent middle class jobs and leaving residents poorly served. (Sounds like a business plan!) Its a good thing there are plently of good-paying middle class jobs around the area.

Seems simple enough to me Randy. A cop out in the field who has higher risk gets more of a beni’s package. The guy back at the office who doesn’t have the same risk gets less beni’s package. What’s so hard to understand???

The cop out in the field chose his/her field because he couldn’t go to college and get it done that way. Doesn’t mean you deserve more money. Go to school and have more options. Not hard to understand!!!!

They chose there career path because they have a desire to serve and do something that has an impact on our society. They go to work everyday not knowing if its the last time they will ever see there family. The job is dangerous and has high risks. Maybe you should do some ride alongs with your local law enforcement and really see what kind of things they encounter on a daily basis. I think you may have a new appreciation for the job they do to protect your family and community.