Four Los Angeles retirees collected $1 million-plus pension payouts last year

Thanks to a Stanford Study we know that the unfunded CalPERS, CalSTRS and health care unfunded liability of the State of California is $1.2 trillion—not a typo.  Years ago Orange County raised the pension benefits by 25%, yet added no revenues to pay for them. A few years later OC went bankrupt.  Stockton, Vallejo and San Bernardino went belly up, in large part due to out of control pensions.  Now we find that four former LA County employees collected a total of  $1,000,000 last year—EACH.

Corrupt former LA Sheriff “Leroy” Baca a convicted criminal receives $342,000 a year in pension payments.  Feel good about that?

“Retired assistant fire chief Timothy Manning’s $1,181,309 pension and benefits package was the highest of any retiree surveyed — with $996,161 coming from the controversial deferred retirement option plan (DROP).

DROP allows an employee to draw a salary and pension simultaneously for up to 5 years, with each year’s pension being deposited into an interest-bearing account. Upon actual retirement, the accumulated balance can be withdrawn either as a lump-sum payment or rolled over into an annuity.

The next three highest-compensated Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension (LAFPP) retirees were:

  1. Retired police commander Stephen Jacobs, who collected $1,115,747
  2. Retired deputy police chief Mark Perez, who collected $1,105,441
  3. Retired deputy police chief Terry Hara, who collected $1,043,667

We have been told government employees are poorly paid and have to eat cat food when they retire—looks like these folks can eat caviar every day instead.

calpers

Four Los Angeles retirees collected $1 million-plus pension payouts last year

Transparent California,  4/19/16

Four Los Angeles police and fire retirees collected over $1 million apiece in pension payouts last year, according to just-released 2015 pension data from TransparentCalifornia.com.

Retired assistant fire chief Timothy Manning’s $1,181,309 pension and benefits package was the highest of any retiree surveyed — with $996,161 coming from the controversial deferred retirement option plan (DROP).

DROP allows an employee to draw a salary and pension simultaneously for up to 5 years, with each year’s pension being deposited into an interest-bearing account. Upon actual retirement, the accumulated balance can be withdrawn either as a lump-sum payment or rolled over into an annuity.

The next three highest-compensated Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension (LAFPP) retirees were:

  1. Retired police commander Stephen Jacobs, who collected $1,115,747
  2. Retired deputy police chief Mark Perez, who collected $1,105,441
  3. Retired deputy police chief Terry Hara, who collected $1,043,667

The average full-career city worker is a pension millionaire

Regular city employees belong to a separate retirement plan —the Los Angeles City Employees Retirement System (LACERS) — which does not offer DROP and did not provide the cost of health benefits on an individual basis. The average full-career pension for all LACERS retirees was $63,025, which jumped to $75,624 when looking at only those who retired in the past year.

These individuals are now “pension millionaires,” according to Transparent California’s research director Robert Fellner.

“Fidelity Investments currently charges over $1.75 million for an annuity large enough to provide the same level of retirement income at LACERS’ average retirement age of 60.”

The top three LACERS’ pension payouts went to:

  1. Retired personnel department general manager Margaret Whelan, who collected $235,333
  2. Retired harbor department general manager Bruce Seaton, who collected $234,420
  3. Retired harbor department port pilot Michael Owens, who collected $232,413

Fellner noted that the number of Los Angeles retirees who received pension and benefits packages of at least $100,000 increased nearly 22 percent since 2013.

“As the number of $100,000-plus pension payouts soared, so has the cost to taxpayers, which just hit a record-high 46 percent of payroll for safety officers and 26 percent for regular city workers.

“Including the DWP pension plan, Los Angeles spent over $1.5 billion on pension and retiree health costs alone in 2014, which represented nearly 12 percent of total expenditures.

“Studies have shown that growing retirement costs result in reduced city services, higher taxes or both.”

Leroy Baca’s $342,000 payout 3rd highest amongst County retirees

Transparent California also released 2015 pension data from the Los Angeles County Employees’ Retirement Association, which does not offer DROP, but still had dozens of annual payouts of more than $250,000.

The top three pension and benefits packages received by Los Angeles county retirees went to:

  1. Retired Harbor General chief physician Charles Mehringer, who collected $419,666
  2. Retired Harbor General chief physician Robert Morin, who collected $344,080
  3. Retired sheriff Leroy Baca, who collected $342,849

The number of County retirees who collected at least $100,000 increased 19 percent since 2013.

Average 2015 full-career pension and benefits package for Los Angeles-area retirees

Transparent California is still working on obtaining pension payout data from the DWP, where costs have risen to astronomical heights, Fellner said.

“The 53 percent of payroll required to fund the DWP’s pension plan is, by far, the most expensive non-safety pension plan I’ve ever seen.”

To view the entire dataset in a searchable and downloadable format, visit TransparentCalifornia.com.

A full-career is defined as at least 25 years of service for police and fire retirees, and 30 years for regular retirees.

 

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. The State of Ca is in a dire need of reformation of government and returning to real civil service and not this milking farm of benefit distribution…We now have public service which bears no resemblance to civil service…the once sane salary and benefit package is now a illegal union gov major rip off package, public servants get far more benefit and pay plus perks for their public employment than do any of the private sector people….since the government produces no salable product and are totally dependent on the consensus of the governed for monies to operate and survive, the gov should serve the public, unfortunately we the voter and tax payer no longer are represented but we are lied to and deceived by legal theft laws and a illegal gov union that helps to keep gov unaffordable……We need a decisive move to reduce the size and scope of compounding government growth, it is over lapping, inefficient, redundant and most of all unaffordable and highly demanding and intrusive upon the private sector that feeds it, the voters and taxpayers that expect representation and managed workable government for the buck…………

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