Saturday, August 4, 2012

(San Mateo) Grand jury: Pension costs out of control

The Almanac News

A recent grand jury report dissects a topic near and dear to many hearts in San Mateo County: "Controlling the County's Escalating Pension Costs."

According to the report, released July 23, the county's contribution to the retirement fund, which covers 10,582 current and retired employees, will jump by another $13 million next year. The county already carries $842 million in unfunded liability, the difference between expected benefit plan payments and current assets over time.

While initially projecting a return of 7.75 percent on investments, the county's retirement system, SamCERA, has now lowered that to 7.5 percent over 15 years.

The report suggests that the county deal with the problem by employing fewer people through service cuts, attrition and outsourcing; negotiating lower costs with unions; and considering withdrawal from Social Security. County manager John Maltbie said staff is researching whether that last option is even legally possible.

Click here to download the PDF document and read the report.

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