Daily Archives: March 15, 2014

City of El Segundo Can Save $3.3 Million Per Year in Employee Pension Costs

by Michael D. Robbins
Director, Public Safety Project, PublicSafetyProject.org

March 14, 2014

El Segundo Mayor Bill Fisher, and City Council Members David Atkinson and Marie Felhauer who give Fisher his Council majority, claim the City Council no control over City employee pension costs. They claim that is all determined by California state law. This is not true. They make this claim to deceive El Segundo voters into approving the massive Measure A tax increases on residents and businesses on the April 8, 2014 city election ballot.

This article explains how the City Council has significant control over employee pension costs, how the City Council increased employee pension costs, and how the City Council can save $3.3 million per year in employee pension costs.

The City Council controls employee pension costs in three significant ways:

  1. The amounts of employee salaries, which are increased by pay raises and “special compensation” add-ons;
  2. The percentage of the total CalPERS pension contributions employees are required to pay; and
  3. Which pension formula and other pension options are provided to City employees.

Every pay raise increased the City’s CalPERS pension costs.

City employee annual pension income is a fixed percentage of their single highest year salary, including all those redundant and non-job-related “Special Compensation” union contract add-ons, for every year they worked. Firefighters and police get annual pension income of 3% of their single highest year salary for each year they worked, up to a maximum of 90%, with full retirement after 30 years at age 50 or 55. This corresponds to pension benefit formulas of 3% @ 50 and 3% @ 55, respectively.

Mayor Fisher supported wildly excessive and unsustainable pay raises for the already over-compensated firefighter and police unions that helped launch his political career with lots of campaign support, and for their managers to prevent “salary compaction”. Fisher supported pay raises ranging from 11.25% to 23% for the firefighter and police unions, in three or four installments over three years, and single pay raises ranging from 14.9% to 32.3% for their managers, during the first three years of the Great Recession. All of the raises were approved well after the Great Recession started, and many included retroactive pay raises effective up to 6 and 9 months before the union contracts were approved. The firefighter and police union contracts included additional 5% annual “step raises”, and additional periodic “longevity raises”. … Continue reading

Posted in California, Economy and Economics, El Segundo, El Segundo Election Coverage, El Segundo News, El Segundo Tax and Fee Increases, Elections, Firefighter and Police Union Compensation and Pensions, Firefighter Union Corruption, Government Employee Compensation and Pensions, Police Union Corruption, Political Corruption, Politics, Tax Policy and Issues, Union Corruption | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on City of El Segundo Can Save $3.3 Million Per Year in Employee Pension Costs