On April 17 the California Public Employees Retirement System, CalPERS, announced, “employer [local government] contributions will rise by nearly 50 percent in the short term as the plan is implement.” By this bland statement CalPERS finally admitted that extravagant public employee pensions were inadequately funded.
The El Dorado Hills fire department is vested in the CalPERS. This year we paid $2,053,106 for pension obligations and an additional $600,000 one-time payment for golden handshakes done two years ago.
We now pay nearly 15 percent of our fire budget to CalPERS due to fire boards approving excessive wages and nearly full pay for life pensions. Our employees only recently began to make any personal contribution, 3 percent of wages. Increase the CalPERS costs by 50 percent as announced or another $1,000,000 and pensions will account for nearly 25 percent of the budget. This does not touch upon the free-for-life full health coverage as well.
At some point this foolishness must stop. The employees’ contract expires this Sept. 30. How can we change things? Who will do it? Stay tuned.
El Dorado Hills