Risks Detected in Local Public Pension Systems

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Source: Santa Barbara County Grand Jury

The 2017-18 Santa Barbara County Jury received complaints about the nine principal public pension systems in Santa Barbara County – the County of Santa Barbara Employee Retirement System (SBCERS), which is not part of the California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS) risk pool, and the eight municipal systems of Buellton, Carpinteria, Goleta, Guadalupe, Lompoc, Santa Maria, the City of Santa Barbara and Solvang, which manage 32 plans within the CalPERS risk pool.  Following those complaints and given the public concern about the viability of defined benefit pensions in the County, the Jury analyzed risks to the County and municipal pension systems over the period 2018-2047.

The Jury found the highest risks in the plans of Lompoc (six pension plans), the City of Santa Barbara (four pension plans), and Santa Maria (seven pension plans), which are the largest in the County.  It found moderate risks in Guadalupe (five pension plans) and Solvang (three pension plans).  It found minimal to moderate risks in Buellton (two pension plans) and Goleta (two pension plans).  Risks in SBCERS are moderate and well managed.

The full report is below:

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Luvaduck Jun 22, 2018 08:20 AM
Risks Detected in Local Public Pension Systems

When a deputy sheriff can retire @ $250K/year, a figure I got from the newspaper when we had one, with the schooling time it takes to get the job compared to what it takes for most professions, it's hard to be all that concerned. The problem is letting the retirement amounts get so out of hand to start with--but they did so that brings up the question of going back on legal commitments.

a-1556265507 Jun 22, 2018 08:48 AM
Risks Detected in Local Public Pension Systems

Firefighters have it even better. Not only is their work week easier, the risk of danger is much less and they spend their time learning to cook, plotting their retirement on the internet and with each other and coordinating political campaigns to get support from their bosses. Really. thousands of applicants for each opening and yet, while the pay is pretty fair, the retirement is absurd.

PitMix Jun 21, 2018 09:59 AM
Risks Detected in Local Public Pension Systems

Most of the pension obligation is due to the public safety pensions. It's hard to argue that cops and firefighters don't deserve good pensions, but this will definitely affect the level of services provided by our local governments going forward.

monkeyboy Jun 21, 2018 03:38 PM
Risks Detected in Local Public Pension Systems

It's actually very easy to argue that a public safety officer should not be able to stuff their last 3 years with vacation cashouts and retire at 50 with their all time high salary as a pension, along with lifetime health. They are already very highly compensated for the job they do and should be able to plan for their own retirement like every other person. The few firemen I know are among the wealthiest people I interact with, with new cars, multiple houses and luxurious vacations while I'm barely scraping by to pay the taxes that funds all of that.

Factotum Jun 21, 2018 09:39 AM
Risks Detected in Local Public Pension Systems

(1) Employee unions need to come to the table with voluntary concessions. (2) Elected officials need to stop sabotaging future revenue streams. (3) Voters need to throw the bums out who did this to us, instead of continually re-electhing them.

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