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  #1  
Old 03-17-2012, 5:05 PM
Che762x39 Che762x39 is offline
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Default CALPERS rolling back retirement?

I heard on the radio that the CALPERS retirement formula is rolled back to 2.0 at 50 for new hires. That is basically 60% for 30 years instead of the current 90%
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Old 03-17-2012, 5:46 PM
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I would say read the document. I remember under the old system there was a bonus multiplier after 25 or 20 years
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Old 03-17-2012, 6:06 PM
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I think you mean 2 @ 55 in which case you would receive 60% at age 55 IF you worked for the system for 30 years. This is not new and has been the standard for several years now.
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Old 03-17-2012, 6:14 PM
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It's different with every department.
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Old 03-17-2012, 6:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fullrearview View Post
It's different with every department.
Exactly. There's no fixed Calpers tier system, it's negotiated by your Union/Department/County/City. I am still at 3% at 50, but our department recently switched to a "tiered" system where new hires will now receive 3% at 55. As a trade off, we can now buy three years of service credit with banked time prior to retirement rather than 18 months.

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Old 03-17-2012, 6:42 PM
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Check your contract.
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Old 03-17-2012, 6:46 PM
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One thing that concerns me, as far as high cost, is the issue with pension spiking. I'm under the understanding that it's not allowed but a recent article I read in the LA Times said that it happens regardless.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la...0,440233.story
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Old 03-17-2012, 7:09 PM
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One BIG problem the State isn't considering in changing the formula where you have to be over 50 years of age to retire from Public Safety positions.
In Law & Fire, 50 years is old. 55 is even older. Fire and Law Enforcement's bodies take a beating. Back, knees, heart, ankles etc. After 45 years old there are many work comp related injuries, either long-term effects or aggravated by the job.
10 years into the future, when Cities and Counties are paying triple Work Comp coverage due to all of the claims, the State will have to conduct a study to realize making Public Safety work an additional 5 years is just too damn expensive.
There are many officers who either do not have the desire, education, or opportunity to advance to a position off of the street are going to be the most affected. Combine this with aging officers who abandon physical Fitness regime's, usually because it hurts too much, health problems, or they are just lazy, can easily hurt themselves in foot pursuits, fights, or jumping out of a patrol car to chase a bad guy without warming up and stretching first.
I know that before I was 30, I broke my ankle so bad it needed two surgeries, broke ribs, broke one of my hands, multiple fingers (one finger almost had to be amputated because it had been broken so many times), not to mention multiple sprains, and stitches. Being on the SWAT team was half of the cause, but the others were patrol related. At 40 I got hit by a drunk driver which was the coup de gras. I tried to hang on to my job as Sergeant, because I was due to get promoted to Captain in a few weeks which would have gotten me off of the street. After 2 surgeries to my spine (Fusion with rods & screws) I tried to return. My surgeon put it into perspective. I would be fighting pain, discomfort, numbness for the rest of my life. I wouldn't be able to take any opiate pain medication before or during work. I would be irritable because of the pain. If I ever was involved in a on-duty shooting, I would have to contend with opiates in my urine, and then to convince them to take blood to show I wasn't under the influence. Then the civil litigation to follow.
My employer would not let me return to work because my doctors would not sign off. I tried to fight but finally threw in the towel after a year. I settled for a retirement 50% of my BASE pay, tax free (mostly). The problem was my base pay was not very impressive. I made my money with my B.S., higher education, training certs, special duty, court overtime and shift pay, none of which was considered for my disability retirement.
My point is that I was trying to hold on to get a retirement at 50. Just 10 more years. Many officers when they hit 45 try to hang on for just 5 more years.
Raising the retirement age to 55 will likely cause many officers to take the disability retirement because they can't hang on that long.
I understand the State's need to lower the retirement benefits due to the economy. But making public safety officers work until they are 55 is going to be fraught with injuries and expenses.
My opinion is to reduce retirement to 2.5% @ 50, cut medical benefits for retirees (for the few that get them) and try to save money in other expenditures (annuitants double-dipping, $60,000 on City Logo art, Bull*hit studies for hiking trails and bicycle paths, horrendously hideous art statues at the parks, new take-home cars for Chiefs, City Managers every 2 years, and over-priced consultants.).
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  #9  
Old 03-17-2012, 7:18 PM
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Wardog, sounds like our departments and cities were similar. I know that feeling, I'm on the same boat and I'm about to turn in my paddles.
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Old 03-17-2012, 8:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fullrearview View Post
It's different with every department.
This is the correct statement. CALPERS cannot change anyones retirement. Your employing agency and the contract is the key. Jerry Brown is pushing for state contracts to have the basic 2% at 50 X years of service, with a yearly up. So at say 51 the formula would be 2 1/8% reaching 3% at age 55. Also included is no more single year formula, but a 3 year average.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:22 AM
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This CalPers thing is a lot to learn, I'm 3/50 and I got 28 years to go!!
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:38 AM
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Our new hires are now 3@55, the rest of us are still 3@50. SEIU employees, (secretaries, librarians, road workers, etc) have 2.7@55, without a cap. Some of them work 40 years and make 108% of their highest paid year.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:39 AM
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WARDOG, very insightful post. I was forced to medically retire at age 53 with only 27yrs. on. When I say forced, I don't mean the dept. forced me, my body did due to my multiple surgeries (4 left knee [no cartilage now] and 4 back, 3 of which are fusions from T12 to S1). I also had a testicular hydrocele surgery mentioned by another leo. Look it up to learn about that wonderful problem, tho I have recovered completely.

I didn't want to retire and had planned on doing so at 30yrs. on. As much as didn't want to retire when I did, it was actually a good thing. The two disks above T12 are bulging and I am sure returning to work would have caused another fusion. The doc called it a domino effect since the stress goes to the disk above the fusion.

If I had made it to 55 (my former dept. permits 65 now, but I was hired with a 60yr. forced retirement), I just would have been in more pain. As it is, I face a C4-C7 fusion that I've put off frankly because I'm scared you know what to go thru with it. I cancelled the surgery this past Sept.

With the back, knee and hearing loss, I'm considered 100% disabled under the pre 2005 law. The county will be paying for me until I die and my dept. didn't and still doesn't have the 3%@50. It won't either.

ETA: For sake of clarity, my county is not a member of Calpers as they have their own retirement system. One I might add, that due to it's conservative investments, has not suffered like Calpers.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Che762x39 View Post
I heard on the radio that the CALPERS retirement formula is rolled back to 2.0 at 50 for new hires. That is basically 60% for 30 years instead of the current 90%
I am a calpers retiree. At 30 years, I would get 65%. Where di dyou get the 90%. From the dumb***** on the radio that is trying to incite everyone against public employee?
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Old 03-18-2012, 1:58 AM
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Some agencies cap it at 90 percent. Mine does. I don't think I have heard of any departments or agencies that go higher than that.

I am sure that dumbass is trying to incite a riot against public employees though. Nothing new nowadays.
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Old 03-18-2012, 6:39 AM
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LAUSD Police was 3@50 (max 85%) + 5%COLA so after you max out at 28.33 years, you would be at 90% without going to 30 years. That last 1.67 years is crucial because every year matters when it's close to retirement.

A lot of places are going to the tiered 3@55 or 2@50 for the new hires.

CalPERS has the different formulas but it's up to your union to negotiate what is applied. It is not an unilateral decision that can be made by the employer.
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Old 03-18-2012, 9:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saethwyr View Post
I am a calpers retiree. At 30 years, I would get 65%. Where di dyou get the 90%. From the dumb***** on the radio that is trying to incite everyone against public employee?
Depends on age/department.
Caltrans is 2%@55. But, there is a sliding scale. If I retire @ 65, I get 2.5% per year.
That would give me 85% at 65.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadcoyote View Post
Exactly. There's no fixed Calpers tier system, it's negotiated by your Union/Department/County/City. I am still at 3% at 50, but our department recently switched to a "tiered" system where new hires will now receive 3% at 55. As a trade off, we can now buy three years of service credit with banked time prior to retirement rather than 18 months.
We traded 6.5% increase for paying our own 9%... Uncle Jerry has been pushing to make it mandatory for everyone to pay their own 9%. I'm sure it will prove to be a good trade off in the long run.

Our unions are nearly as powerful as is suggested here... Not by a long shot.
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Old 03-18-2012, 5:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saethwyr View Post
I am a calpers retiree. At 30 years, I would get 65%. Where di dyou get the 90%. From the dumb***** on the radio that is trying to incite everyone against public employee?
The standard CALPERS public safety workers plan is on a 3% per year of service, vested and eligible to retire at age 50. Under the standard plan, 30 years of service gives you 90% of your highest annual base salary, and with pension spiking (still done in some quarters) you can push up close to 100%, sometimes more. It's very much a cadillac plan, and local agencies that signed onto it initially are trying to negotiate it down for new hires coming on now as it has proven to be wholly unsustainable.

If you are only going to get 65% for 30 years of service, that's about 2.17% per year of service. Are you in public safety or some other classification?
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Old 03-18-2012, 8:20 PM
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There are agencies who never went to Safety PERS 3@50.

Some agencies have their own like County or LA City. Some never negotiated 3@50 and are stuck at 2@55 and I have even heard of some wanting to go 2@60. Good luck with that one as all of your recruits go elsewhere immediately.
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Old 03-18-2012, 8:20 PM
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There are agencies who never went to Safety PERS 3@50.

Some agencies have their own like County or LA City. Some never negotiated 3@50 and are stuck at 2@55 and I have even heard of some wanting to go 2@60. Good luck with that one as all of your recruits go elsewhere immediately.
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Old 03-18-2012, 8:37 PM
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You have to check your contract.

There never was a standard from CalPERS that was 3% @ 50. Some agencies never went to it. Most agancies seem to be going to 3% @ 55 for new hires.

When I was hired it was 2% @ 50 with it increasing every year about 1/8% every year to 55 when it stopped at 2.5% @ 55.

Technically even the new hires at 3% @ 55 can still retire at 50, they just take a reduced amount per year, maybe 2.5%. If I were a new hire I would think about that at 50 if I were burned out. Just take the reduced pension and go work in the private sector. Places like Kroll and Assoc. pay pretty good for retired cops. One of them was working in our town in a fixed post plainclothes security gig at $500 a day for a 12 hour shift.

BTW the courts have ruled on this already. They cannot change your retirement after you start working for them unless you agree. They can upgrade you but not down grade you.

I fully expect in 10-20 years when nobody wants to be a cop or public sector worker they will be bumping it up again. Our economy is not going to be in the toilet forever.

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Old 03-18-2012, 9:30 PM
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I am at 2 at 55 but when you go over 30 years it goes up to 2.5 or almost 3% i think, so if you work until you are at 35 years you get like 78%
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:29 PM
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I think that is the standard formula for non-safety 2@55.
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:29 AM
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We will see a two tier pension system. Those who got what they have will probably be grandfathered.

Things I would expect to see changed.

1. Pension spiking.

2. Possibly cost of living increases.

3. Pension based on average of last 3 to 5 years rather than last highest year.

We may see an increase in retention bonuses for public workers with critical skills. This would allow government to reduce across the board raises on contracts.

Of course if we got the government out of our lives where it doesn't need to be, we could reduce the size of government, the economy would grow and the viability of CALPERS would become a non issue.

Calpers got burned because of government meddling in the economy which created financial bubbles that burst.

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Old 03-19-2012, 4:56 AM
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Must be different contracts but I can't "pension spike". My overtime doesn't count towards my retirement. Just my base pay.
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Old 03-19-2012, 1:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsmoboat View Post
Must be different contracts but I can't "pension spike". My overtime doesn't count towards my retirement. Just my base pay.
I was under the belief that spiking was generally banned. However, it happens in certain cities or counties, LA being one of the big ones.
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Old 03-19-2012, 1:54 PM
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If Gov. Brown's pension reform goes to the voters, they will vote for it. The jealousy is palpable. One of the unintended consequences will be anyone who hits 50 will immediately retire because it would cost them money to continue working if they have to pay 25-30% of their salary to PERS. For suburban departments without much overtime, the new guys with kids and wives will leave to go to busier, larger agencies with overtime to make up for their lost income. We are already having a hard time getting qualified applicants, with an effective pay and benefit cut, the outlook will be even more grim.
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Old 03-19-2012, 3:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monk View Post
I was under the belief that spiking was generally banned. However, it happens in certain cities or counties, LA being one of the big ones.
"Overtime" has never been a part of the calculation for retirement, at least for local member retirements.

Here it is direct from CALPERS...

Service retirement is a lifetime benefit. To be eligible for a service retirement, in most cases you must be at least age 50 and have five years of service credit.

When you retire, your lifetime retirement benefit is calculated using a formula that includes using your years of service credit, age at retirement, and final compensation. Final compensation is your highest average full-time monthly pay rate for a 1-year or 3-year period based on the employer contract or collective bargaining unit agreement. Please contact your employer for details.

Your retirement benefit formula is based on your membership category, which is determined by your employer (State, school, or local public agency); classification (miscellaneous, general office and others), safety, industrial, or peace officer/firefighter); and the specific provisions in the contract between CalPERS and your employer.
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Old 03-19-2012, 4:57 PM
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I think it has been mentioned already,but I can see a whole lot of workmans comp. claims as "older officers' get injuries chasing and fighting suspects half their age.
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Old 03-19-2012, 5:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsmoboat View Post
Must be different contracts but I can't "pension spike". My overtime doesn't count towards my retirement. Just my base pay.
Your OT doesn't count, but your incentives (educational and POST certs) do. Or take your OT as Comp Time and it will count toward your retirement when it is paid off after 12 months...plus if you have a COLA or Step increase, it pays at the higher rate

The following is dependent on your contract:
1. HIL - maxes out after one year and they pay for hours over the balance, that counts toward retirement - usually 5% of salary
2. Vacation - Maxes out and the payout after that counts toward retirement - usually 8% of salary
3. Incentives - 20% of salary with a AA, BA, intermediate and Advanced POST...varies by department and contract...count toward retirement.

After our contract got us 3%@50, I don't know anyone who retired at less than full base pay...I know a guy who retired at 115% because he had time from another departments and bought back some military time
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  #32  
Old 03-19-2012, 5:42 PM
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For what it's worth- At the CHP academy, the Cadets who came in at 3@55 were told to just work and dont sweat the change. Give the system 5-8 years and the union will attempt to bring the formula back down to 3@50 then.

In time I am sure most agencies with cycle back around to attract and keep good employees.
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Old 03-20-2012, 8:52 AM
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I retired 5 years ago, under 3@50....Although it didn't apply to me, night differential, hazard pay (Motors or SWAT) and FTO pay will all be considered when determining the final compensation. I was a captain, and although I got a vehicle allowance, that was not factored in. We also had the single highest year option, which we went to many years ago, raising the employee's contribution from 9 to 11.25%...only real winners there were the guys who retired right after we went to that plan. The rest of us have been paying a lot for a small dividend since!
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Old 03-22-2012, 1:33 AM
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I am hesitant to mention this as I have not received confirmation, but it's my understanding there was a Cal Chiefs meeting last week in which Brown told of a plan to make the public safety retirement age 58. Has anyone heard anything similar? From what I've heard the plan is to present this to voters for the November election and immediately implement afterwards whether it passes or not. I cannot comment on whether or not the legal authority exists to do this, but based on the hubris displayed by our state and federal lawmakers, nothing would surprise me. I cannot even begin to wrap my mind around the ramifications of such move.
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Old 03-22-2012, 10:47 AM
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I heard of it but it is illegal to unilaterally change the terms of a contract as negotiated between parties. The lawsuits alone on the breach of contract issue would offset any savings from raising the retirement age.
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