The California Foundation for Financial Responsibility (CFFR) has been requesting and releasing information on public employee retirees who receive pensions above $100,000 (see http://www.californiapensionreform.com/calpers/). Contra Costa County has its own retirement system and a California Records Act request was made for that data by the CFFR. A former CCC Sheriff is seeking a restraining order to keep the pension information from the public. It is unlikely she will prevail – nor should she. Just like salary information for public employees is widely available (CoCoTax has it on our website), those in the $100,000 Pension Club will soon be revealed.
It is really outrageous that people who expect the taxpayers to pay for their pensions, don’t want the amounts made public. The courts have been consistently on the side of disclosure.
Public employee pensions, unlike those in the private sector are almost uniformly “defined benefit” pensions. That means those retirees get their pension (plus cost of living raises) no matter what happens to the investments of the pension plan. Unfortunately, it is the taxpayers that have to make up any losses for government employees while also covering the losses to their own retirement investments. How sweet a deal is that for government employees, and how raw a deal for the taxpayers.
Pensions are a large and growing expense for state and local government. The citizens of Contra Costa County are about to find out just how large those pension costs are.