Re: Roger Carter’s letter, page 16, March 30 edition, mentions city employee pensions and roughly quotes Elizabeth Pearson: “our city pensions are out of whack and will eventually bankrupt the city.”
Some facts about Laguna Beach County Water District illustrate the point. From Transparent California I learned that the regular salary for the top five individuals at LBCWD was $ 1.1 million. Laguna Beach follows the 3%/30 year rule as to pensions to be paid for life.
That is 3% per year for 30 years = 90% of final salary to be paid at retirement.
Let’s make the reasonable assumption that these five retire at age 60 and live to be 85. The total to be paid over their retirement years is (.03 x 30 years x $1.1 million x 25 = $21.9 million. This does not include COLAs or medical coverage costs after retirement .
If COLAs are 3% per year compounded, the amount to be paid increases gradually year by year until it doubles in 24 years.
To make things worse, the first Brown administration gave public employees collective bargaining rights.
Check out Transparent California. Through it you can learn salaries and benefits paid to any government employee by position, name and title. Use LBCWD as an example to get started. I guarantee you will be absolutely stunned
as to current salaries and benefits.
Remember that most of these people will get 90% of their final salary for life.
George Orff, Laguna Beach