pension reform initiative
The amount of current debt (unfunded liability) that taxpayers must pay for in the current county pension system.
The percent that county Public Safety pensions were above peer county pensions.
In 2012 the L.A. Times reported that Ventura County allows workers “to make more in retirement than they did
while working.” It continued “in Ventura County, 84% of retirees receiving more than $100,000 a year are receiving more than they did on the job.”
Ventura County’s penchant for pension spiking has gone nationwide. It has caught the critical eye of AARP’s
monthly bulletin, an influential publication seen by millions.
The AARP Bulletin reported “The fact that former County executive officer retired with $272,000 a year in
annual payouts when she earned roughly $50,000 less than that her last year on the job underscores a problem that affects all of us. The career county employee, was legally able to gross up her pay with vacation benefits and other perks.”
The total amount of pensions paid to County retirees has increased 100% from $101 million per year in 2004, to $203 million per year in 2013.
Compensation for County employees, including pension is much higher than most citizens believe or
The average salary for a non-public safety employee of the County is approximately $72,800 per year. When you add the County's contribution to those employee's pension, annual compensation is more than $85,500 per year.
The average salary for a public safety employee is approximately $114,200 per year. When you add the
County's contribution to those employee's pension, annual compensation is more than $179,000 per year.
In 2012 a survey of peer counties found that Ventura Public Safety compensation was 43% higher than the peer group. Public Safety pensions were 22% higher than the peer group.
Pension contributions in the County of Ventura increased 260 percent in the last nine years, and the unfunded liability of the pension fund has now reached $1 billion.
In 2004 Ventura County contributed $45 million to its pension fund to pay for pensions. By 2013
the County’s contribution had skyrocketed to $162 million.
The County Chief Financial Officer forecasts that the County’s contributions will continue to grow over
the coming years and has predicted the County’s annual pension fund contributions may exceed $220 million by 2018.
The County’s pension board is responsible for investing pension funds, setting actuarial policy and projecting future investment returns. Taxpayers bear the entire burden of poor investment decisions and rosy projection of future investment returns.
Over the last ten years, pension board returns have not met the unrealistic investment goals. This combined with demographic changes among county employees has resulted in a $1 billion unfunded liability.
The pension fund that current County retirees depend on for their pension checks for retirement has only 79%
of the funds needed to pay benefits. Another supplemental pension fund has only 65% of the funds needed to pay benefits.
Paid for by Committee for Pension Fairness with support from taxpayers and advocates for public pension reform
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