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Old 07-28-2010, 09:26 AM   #61
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It's quite plausible. It's too bad for a city of residents earning a median per capita income of $13,652 to stuck with paying them outrageous pension forever unless the DA can find misdoings or frauds.

I bet that it is not the city that will pay the pensions.... the whole state of California will get to pony up...

And in the article they said the police chief's pension doubled by working only ONE year at this high salary.... which is one of the main reasons that us who complain about state pensions.... well, complain... why should this guy double his pension for the rest of his life with only one year working It does not make sense... but I bet that there is nothing that can be done... they all get to go laughing to the bank for the rest of their lives... on the backs of California...
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:47 PM   #62
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I bet that it is not the city that will pay the pensions.... the whole state of California will get to pony up...
Yep. The state is obligated to pay as it cannot breach the contractual relationship. The state will have to raise taxes or reduce spending significantly to pay.
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And in the article they said the police chief's pension doubled by working only ONE year at this high salary.... which is one of the main reasons that us who complain about state pensions.... well, complain... why should this guy double his pension for the rest of his life with only one year working It does not make sense... but I bet that there is nothing that can be done... they all get to go laughing to the bank for the rest of their lives... on the backs of California...
Is this a great country or what? LOL.
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Old 07-28-2010, 09:51 PM   #63
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:47 PM   #64
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Yep. The state is obligated to pay as it cannot breach the contractual relationship. The state will have to raise taxes or reduce spending significantly to pay.
The Associated Press: Pensions withheld for 3 Calif. administrators

Heh...

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BELL, Calif. California pensions will be withheld for three former Bell administrators until the state attorney general determines whether the city broke any laws in paying them outsized salaries.
Pat Macht of the state's public employee retirement agency said Wednesday that pension applications will be denied for former City Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo, Police Chief Randy Adams and Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia.
I'm sure a detailed review could find SOMETHING somewhere in the morass of law and paperwork. Perhaps they could bring in some loss mitigation specialists from the insurance industry...
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:54 PM   #65
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It's quite plausible. It's too bad for a city of residents earning a median per capita income of $13,652 to stuck with paying them outrageous pension forever unless the DA can find misdoings or frauds.
Or unless the city declares bankruptcy. But unfortunately that would also impact the folks who have earned more modest pensions for a lot of years of service.
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Old 07-29-2010, 01:01 PM   #66
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Or unless the city declares bankruptcy. But unfortunately that would also impact the folks who have earned more modest pensions for a lot of years of service.
Well, IIRC the PBGC rules pay the lower pensions fully, then put clamps on higher pensions. I know the PBGC isn't covering public pensions, but it seems the same could apply. Though with the salaries they got for a few years, I hope they find a way to zero their pensions. Heck, I hope they find a way to make them pay back the excess salary.

An yes, I feel that way about some CEOs also.

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Old 07-29-2010, 05:44 PM   #67
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BELL, Calif. California pensions will be withheld for three former Bell administrators until the state attorney general determines whether the city broke any laws in paying them outsized salaries. Pat Macht of the state's public employee retirement agency said Wednesday that pension applications will be denied for former City Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo, Police Chief Randy Adams and Assistant City Manager Angela Spaccia.
Well, I'm not sure about the other two, but Angela Spaccia should be OK. Nearby Maywood CA, the city who outsourced many of their services to Bell, has hired her as an interim City Manager. I wonder what her new pay and pension packages look like?
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Old 07-29-2010, 07:46 PM   #68
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Well, I'm not sure about the other two, but Angela Spaccia should be OK. Nearby Maywood CA, the city who outsourced many of their services to Bell, has hired her as an interim City Manager. I wonder what her new pay and pension packages look like?
I can't image the salary would be what she made at Bell since Maywood is essentially broke.
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Old 07-29-2010, 08:22 PM   #69
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Or unless the city declares bankruptcy. But unfortunately that would also impact the folks who have earned more modest pensions for a lot of years of service.
Unfortunately bankruptcy does not resolve the issue as demonstrated by the bankruptcy of another city (Vallejo) in California.
The failure of the Vallejo, CA bankruptcy - Richard Rider - Open Salon
The police and firefighters continue to receive their "fat" pension payments despite the declaration of bankruptcy.
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Old 07-30-2010, 10:47 AM   #70
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Yep. The state is obligated to pay as it cannot breach the contractual relationship. The state will have to raise taxes or reduce spending significantly to pay.

Is this a great country or what? LOL.
Even better--residents of fiscally conservative states like WY will see their federal income taxes raised so states like CA, IL, and NY can continue to spend.
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Old 07-30-2010, 11:24 AM   #71
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Even better--residents of fiscally conservative states like WY will see their federal income taxes raised so states like CA, IL, and NY can continue to spend.
IL and NY are traditionally near the bottom of the list for taxes-returned. CA and WY are in the middle of the pack.
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:05 AM   #72
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I bet that it is not the city that will pay the pensions.... the whole state of California will get to pony up...

And in the article they said the police chief's pension doubled by working only ONE year at this high salary.... which is one of the main reasons that us who complain about state pensions.... well, complain... why should this guy double his pension for the rest of his life with only one year working It does not make sense... but I bet that there is nothing that can be done... they all get to go laughing to the bank for the rest of their lives... on the backs of California...
No, not the whole state of CA, but only some unfortunate neighboring cities in the same CalPERS pension pool will have to pitch in to pay the $600,000/yr pension of the former city manager Robert Rizzo, and the $411,300/yr pension of the police chief Randy Adams.

How did that happen? It's complicated. According to the following article, National News Article,
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the two gubernatorial candidates, Meg Whitman and Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, are urging reforms in the system.

"Even the governor's office couldn't figure these Bell pensions out," said Marcia Fritz, a certified public accountant and president of the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility.
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:36 AM   #73
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No, not the whole state of CA, but only some unfortunate neighboring cities in the same CalPERS pension pool will have to pitch in to pay the $600,000/yr pension of the former city manager Robert Rizzo, and the $411,300/yr pension of the police chief Randy Adams.

How did that happen? It's complicated. According to the following article, National News Article,
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the two gubernatorial candidates, Meg Whitman and Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, are urging reforms in the system.

"Even the governor's office couldn't figure these Bell pensions out," said Marcia Fritz, a certified public accountant and president of the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility.


Very, very interesting..... and ANOTHER reason to not have the pensions the way they are...

from the article...

"Bell hired Adams at more than double the salary he was making in Glendale. That salary spike also doubled his eligible pension amount under CalPERS. City managers in Glendale and Simi Valley, where Adams previously worked, estimate they'll have to come up with an extra $40,000 in taxpayer dollars each year to cover the pension costs. Ventura's tab could go much higher.
"We had no control over his final year's salary," said Glendale City Manager Jim Starbird. "Yet the rest of us will be bearing the brunt of Bell's decision.""




So you can pay someone a reasonable salary for years... and then they go someplace else and screw that location.... and your city has to pay for the stupidity of that location... priceless!!!


If it was a cash balance system.... your city would not have any future liability... the one who was stupid to hire them would have had to cough up the pension money for the person.... but the final pension would not have doubled in ONE year... it only would have gone up with what annuity could have been bought with that one year of excess cash contributions...


But, it will not happen... at least not as much as it should...
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:20 AM   #74
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So you can pay someone a reasonable salary for years... and then they go someplace else and screw that location.... and your city has to pay for the stupidity of that location... priceless!!!


If it was a cash balance system.... your city would not have any future liability... it only would have gone up with what annuity could have been bought with that one year of excess cash contributions...

But, it will not happen... at least not as much as it should...
Another case of this was reported in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday. The Park District for Highland Park spiked some managers pay (to $435,000!), and in one case their pension went from $110,000 to $160,000 pa due to a few years of spiked income. I believe these are the 3% 'diet COLA' variety. There were several cases reported in this same group.

These pensions are paid from the IL Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF). An IMRF spokesperson said this is a problem for them - IMRF is funded by contributions each year based on salary. So this messes with their actuarial tables - they took in contributions for maybe 20 years based on a lower salary, then just a couple years of higher salary - yet they will pay a lifetime of pension that is based on those last few years. They just didn't take in enough money to fund it.

And who is going to pay? I'd like to see them go in and adjust the pensions of anyone who was spiked. It's stealing.

DW will get a small pension from IMRF - I think I'll call and/or write the administrators to try to push the idea of waging a LOUD and ANGRY public battle over this. Something has to change.

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Old 08-02-2010, 12:39 PM   #75
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And who is going to pay? I'd like to see them go in and adjust the pensions of anyone who was spiked. It's stealing.

DW will get a small pension from IMRF - I think I'll call and/or write the administrators to try to push the idea of waging a LOUD and ANGRY public battle over this. Something has to change.
Well, I'd say "stealing" is a bit much since it's legal -- but it is an example of how something being *legal* doesn't make it *ethical*. And I share your outrage over games like this. It's one thing to put in 30-40 years and not play last-year games to earn a pension. It's another to receive a lot more than you deserve based on your work and salary history because some corrupt loophole allows it in some plans.

You did hit on one important point here: It's not just taxpayers who get hurt by these ripoff pension games like "spiking" -- lesser pensioners who have to watch the solvency of their fund compromised by these should-be-banned spiking games are also under the gun. Every pensioner who didn't pull this stuff should be hopping mad that a few people abuse the rules in such a way as to threaten their retirement.
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Old 08-02-2010, 01:57 PM   #76
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Well, I'd say "stealing" is a bit much since it's legal -- but it is an example of how something being *legal* doesn't make it *ethical*.
True, I was a being a bit dramatic there - but it sure feels like 'stealing'. And though it is probably illegal to break their contract, I wouldn't feel bad about it at all. I will hold out some small hope that they can find something illegal about these raises (conspiracy, bribes?), and maybe null them out, at least. Although prison time would be a better deterrent to others thinking about this (not that it has had much effect on our Governors! ).

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You did hit on one important point here: It's not just taxpayers who get hurt by these ripoff pension games like "spiking" -- lesser pensioners who have to watch the solvency of their fund compromised by these should-be-banned spiking games are also under the gun.
I set out to write to our IMRF, but I'll have to wait for authorization via snail-mail to get to the on-line 'secure email' portion of the site. I figure a letter from a member will carry more impact, so I'll wait.

But I read the docs a bit deeper. IMRF is completely separate from any IL State pension, is currently ~81% funded, with a goal of 100% funding. Members contribute 4.5% from their paychecks, employers match that directly to IMRF.

Tough to see how they can get to 100% funding. If she retired today, she would get a diet COLA annual amount ~ 1/5th of the total contributions that have been made. I guess the growth of the contributions that sit there for 20-25 years make up the difference. Ahhh- and she is in sort of a 'sweet spot' on the rules - her part time years were enough hours to count fully toward vesting, and her more recent 'fuller time' (still part-year) higher annual salary is what is being counted towards the "Average Final Earning Calculation" - wait a minute, does that make her a 'spiker'? Nah, she didn't do anything to manipulate this, those are the rules and it just happens that her employment pattern hits the 'sweet spot'. But the payoff on her 4.5% contribution would probably look tremendous if I did the math. I guess the same way that SS looks good at the low levels, but not as you move up in income. Oh, and that IMRF looks to be linear with respect to income, no 'capping' that I could see. Her income is low enough that this won't be any significant piece of our retirement funding, but everything helps, esp with 3% COLA (and some SS from this and previous jobs).

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Old 08-03-2010, 07:03 AM   #77
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True, I was a being a bit dramatic there - but it sure feels like 'stealing'.
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We can't call it 'stealing' because the practice is put into law (or legal), but the ramification is the same. That is, the tax payers get the short end of the stick whether it is legal or not.
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:49 AM   #78
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Well, I'd say "stealing" is a bit much since it's legal -- but it is an example of how something being *legal* doesn't make it *ethical*. And I share your outrage over games like this. It's one thing to put in 30-40 years and not play last-year games to earn a pension. It's another to receive a lot more than you deserve based on your work and salary history because some corrupt loophole allows it in some plans.

You did hit on one important point here: It's not just taxpayers who get hurt by these ripoff pension games like "spiking" -- lesser pensioners who have to watch the solvency of their fund compromised by these should-be-banned spiking games are also under the gun. Every pensioner who didn't pull this stuff should be hopping mad that a few people abuse the rules in such a way as to threaten their retirement.

I will disagree with you.. and agree with ERD on the stealing... stealing does not have to be illegal IMO... here is one definition

"the act of stealing; the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods or property of another; larceny. "

I say it is a wrongful taking as they did it in secret... the hid the fact that they were being paid so much... if the salary of these people were known, it would not have been allowed to go on.... and now they are going to be rewarded for this for the rest of their lives... so they 'stole' money because they were being paid way to much... and they are able to keep stealing because of the laws...

Were there laws broken... I have no idea... I hope they can finds something in the laws about unjust rewards or something like that... but I am sure that this will blow over in time and these guys will get their money going forward... and I bet they think they deserved the money...
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More Bell employees earned huge salaries
Old 08-06-2010, 06:51 PM   #79
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More Bell employees earned huge salaries

More Bell employees earned huge salaries, city says - latimes.com

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The Bell salary scandal grew Friday when the city acknowledged that more city workers received high salaries, including two who made more than $400,000 a year and three who made more than $200,000.

Bell's interim city manager, Pedro Carrillo, announced the salaries at a news conference Friday, vowing that it was "a new day" for Bell.
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:00 PM   #80
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A couple of thoughts:
- The journalists who exposed this are probably in line for some major awards
- To the people who, earlier in the thread, said "I can't do anything about this": here's your answer. Less then three weeks later, the (apparent) wrongdoers are gone, due in no small part to popular action.
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