PUBLIC INFORMATION -- Sacramento County is willing to reveal that its highest-pensioned retiree is compensated at the rate of almost $727 per day, Monday through Friday. But it won't say who that is, or reveal any amounts linked to names or former positions, reports Robert Lewis for the Sacramento Bee.
How much does the highest paid Sacramento County retiree get monthly from the county's pension system?
That's a question the Sacramento County Employees' Retirement System is willing to answer.
It turns out to be $15,749.64, or an annual pension of about $189,000.
Who gets it? When did the worker retire and from which job? Are pension spiking or double-dipping contributing factors?
Those are questions SCERS isn't willing to answer. It refuses to release any specifics.In
rejecting two Public Records Act requests from The Bee, SCERS officials
said local statutes require them to keep confidential the details about
who is getting money from the system one largely funded by taxpayer money.
Three years ago, Sacramento County paid $190 million for retirement costs. That cost could approach $400 million this year.
Last spring, a watchdog group, the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility, posted an online database of all retirees drawing pensions from the California Public Employees' Retirement Systemthe state systemwho were getting more than $100,000 a year.
A number of counties, however, have their own system, and some haven't released the information.
May, The Bee asked for a list of Sacramento County retirees who got at
least $8,333 monthly, ($100,000 for the year). The SCERS lawyer said
the information was confidential and would send only a list of dollar
amounts and the departments with the most retirees getting big bucks.
Actually, very few county retirees get such big paydays, according to information SCERS did release.
April, 221 retirees were getting $100,000 a year in SCERS pensionsjust 2.8 percent of total retirees drawing from the system. "In
contrast, we think it is important to note that more than 70 percent of
our retirees and beneficiaries received less than $3,000 in that month,
and of that number, 26 percent receive less than $1,000 per month,"
SCERS wrote in its letter to The Bee.