CalPERS will reveal pensioners’ pay

July 9, 2013

calPERSIn a few more days, California’s gargantuan public retirement system will be an open book — or database — when CalPERS unveils information on individual retirees’ pensions and benefits. (Sacramento Bee)

Elements considered public information includes pensioners’ names; their monthly gross pension payment; base allowance; Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA); final compensation, last employer; and pension benefit formula.

Members of CalPERS were notified of the new policy earlier this month.

Officials of the retirement system said they know some retirees will not like the website transparency.

“We understand the sensitivity surrounding this database and know many of our members may object to what seems like traditionally very private information posted online,” CalPERS officials said in a letter. “We believe our member data will remain better protected on our own website rather than on external databases kept by news or other organizations.”

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I don’t have the numbers, but I would venture to say 90% of the pensions are reasonable. I believe most public servants are hard-working and retire with pensions that don’t tax the system. My guess is that when the pension system was set up that few people were making outrageous salaries. No one was ever supposed to be getting rich from being a public servant, but they do now.

The problem today is a direct result of corrupt administrators. From my experience, administrators bloat their ranks, bloat their salaries, and blame the problems on the people actually doing the work. You see this all the time with administrators giving themselves raises despite already high salaries and tough economic times. Added to these abuses was the incident that occurred at Cal Poly a few years back. A “coach” retired; a week before retirement, this coach got a $25K raise in order to pad her retirement.

Here’s what we do. First, we roll back the administration’s slice of the pie back to the level it was 30 years ago. Second, we progressively roll back all salaries starting at $70K. So if you’re making $70K, your salary is reduced 0.5%; if you’re making $200K, your salary is rolled back 30%. If you don’t like your new lower salary, you quit and get a private sector job.

Also add, change the pension system to survive on it’s own, and payouts are maxed at what the fund has and not pick the taxpayers pocket if more money is needed.

Great idea. One of the problems with the pension system is that it is set up as a no-lose for the pensioners; the only potential losers are the taxpayers. Could you imagine how different the system would be if someone other than taxpayers were responsible for the stock market gambling loses? I’d be happy to pay my own pension, as that only seems fair, but I would only do so if I had control of my money rather than let a bunch of fat-cat money changers do what they want with it.

Excellent start, kayak.

It falls apart when the recipient spends more than he earned/contributed in his working life. Though I am a cold-hearted conservative, I really don’t want a bunch of 90-year old ex civil servants starving on street corners because they failed to die before their benes ran out.

Seems like a metered use of benefits, like the rest of us, would address that issue. Perhaps all taxpayer funded retirement programs could be written to restrict their payout to 4% of the individual’s entire retirement value. Something like that.