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Pension Spiking

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 17, 1994
City officials are in Sacramento today to meet with state Public Employees' Retirement System officials to discuss the city's tab for pension-spiking costs. City Administrator Michael T. Uberuaga, Councilman Dave Sullivan and attorney Peter J. Brown, hired by the council to represent the city on the spiking issue, will be involved in the meeting. "We're trying to find out all our options before deciding how to proceed further," Sullivan said.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 2013 | By Seema Mehta and Catherine Saillant, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles mayoral candidates Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti on Wednesday sought to highlight what they say are needed reforms in city government, an apparent response to criticism that they have avoided specifics on solving chronic budget problems. Greuel said she would consider raising the retirement age for current city workers, along with other changes to the city's pension systems. But she said she would seek changes only through collective bargaining, not by forcing new rules on workers.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 18, 1994 | BILL BILLITER
Public criticism of pension spiking by Huntington Beach city employees intensified this week during the public comments portion of a City Council meeting. Spiking allows a person to collect a higher pension by including such things as unused vacation days in computing a final year's salary. Representatives of a new organization, the Citizens Bureau of Investigation, repeatedly assailed the practice Monday night, saying employees who do it are "robbing" the taxpayers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 6, 2012 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - California's teacher retirement system does not take adequate measures to prevent pension "spiking," missing opportunities to reduce such abuses by insufficiently auditing benefits, the state controller said Wednesday. Auditors in Controller John Chiang's office spotted raises of up to 26% for retiring executives in the San Francisco and San Diego school districts without enough documentation to justify the end-of-career boosts. Part of the problem, Chiang said, is that the California State Teachers' Retirement System - the largest in the nation - hasn't taken full advantage of electronic warning systems designed to identify problems.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 3, 1994
Opposition to pension spiking by city employees has led to the formation of a new citizens' group. Bill Mello, a retired mechanical engineer who is spearheading the new organization, announced that the group is calling itself the Citizens Bureau of Investigation. He said about 25 Huntington Beach residents currently are members. "Our main thrust right now is the spiking scandal," Mello said. He added that in the future, the group will investigate suspected wastes of money by city government.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 2, 2010 | By Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times
A day after California lawmakers passed wide-ranging public compensation reforms inspired by the Bell salary scandal, Hilda Villalpando felt hopeful for the first time in months. "Unfortunately, our city has been labeled as one of the most corrupt cities and poorest," the 45-year-old resident said Wednesday. "But I want my city to be known as the city that led to reformation of the government. " Among the Bell-related reforms that lawmakers approved was a bill banning automatic pay raises that exceed the cost-of-living index built into the contracts of local government officials.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 5, 1994
Voters should be aware of the voting record of supervisorial candidates Jim Silva and Linda Moulton Patterson. As members of the Huntington Beach City Council, both of them have voted to approve contracts with city employees that allowed pension spiking. Each year they have voted, as part of the budget process, to levy a special property tax of over $6 million on the residents of Huntington Beach to pay for city employees' retirement contributions. So much for Silva's claim to be anti-tax!
NEWS
May 12, 1994 | SCOTT SANDELL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Douglas Gates will be a busy man come June 30. As personnel director for the City of Hawthorne, Gates will have at least 28 vacancies to fill or eliminate by then. About 8% of the city's work force will have retired in the last several months of the fiscal year. "That's about three times what we normally see in one year," Gates said. "It's going to make things very interesting around here."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 29, 2011 | By Abby Sewell and Jessica Garrison, Los Angeles Times
The state controller's fourth and final audit of financially troubled Montebello found the city's internal controls severely lacking, opening the door to waste and possible malfeasance. Controller John Chiang said the lapses in Montebello were so severe that he compared them to those in Bell, a city that has become synonymous with mismanagement and allegations of public corruption. The audits didn't allege criminal wrongdoing in Montebello but did find serious lapses. "While the roots of Montebello's problems are different from Bell's, they both share the common trouble of having little or, at times, no accountability in their spending of public dollars," Chiang said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 18, 2010 | By Catherine Saillant, Los Angeles Times
Legislation intended to curb pension spiking has become so watered down that it would now do little to prevent California public employees from boosting their end-of-career paychecks, critics say, prompting reform advocates and bill sponsor state Controller John Chiang to withdraw support. Assembly Bill 1987 had been touted as an end to the pension boosting that occurs when public employees add unused vacation, sick time and other benefits to their final year's compensation in order to drive up pensions.
OPINION
March 7, 2012
A lot of Charmin Re " Royal flushes ," March 3, and " They made it a family affair ," Column, March 3 I can't be the only one to have contrasted the values of the families described in the front-page story - who have 16 to 30 bathrooms in their estates - with the couple in the article on Page 2 who, in addition to their own children, adopted six foster children, most with special needs. I wonder how many bathrooms they have? Deanna Williams Monterey Park This article certainly provides a lot of material for remarks and jokes by those with only two, much less one, throne in their homes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 29, 2011 | By Abby Sewell and Jessica Garrison, Los Angeles Times
The state controller's fourth and final audit of financially troubled Montebello found the city's internal controls severely lacking, opening the door to waste and possible malfeasance. Controller John Chiang said the lapses in Montebello were so severe that he compared them to those in Bell, a city that has become synonymous with mismanagement and allegations of public corruption. The audits didn't allege criminal wrongdoing in Montebello but did find serious lapses. "While the roots of Montebello's problems are different from Bell's, they both share the common trouble of having little or, at times, no accountability in their spending of public dollars," Chiang said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 24, 2011 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
City managers convicted of felony misuse of taxpayer funds would lose public pension benefits under a legislative proposal that is among several introduced this month in response to the financial scandal in Bell. The fresh round of Bell-inspired bills comes after lawmakers failed to pass similar measures in the final days of last year's legislative session. The current proposals may have better odds because lawmakers will have more time to vet them in committee and refine them over several months.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 19, 2010 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is mulling a raft of bills touted as the remedy to the kinds of pay and pension excesses discovered in the city of Bell, but there is disagreement among experts over how effective they might be in preventing future abuses. If the governor signs the measures into law, the discord could turn into a legal battle, with some of the rules being decided by the courts, according to city representatives and legal experts. The League of California Cities has urged Schwarzenegger to veto one of the bills, which would limit cushy employment contracts for local government managers, arguing that it would not achieve its goal of holding officials accountable for excessive pay and benefits.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 2, 2010 | By Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times
A day after California lawmakers passed wide-ranging public compensation reforms inspired by the Bell salary scandal, Hilda Villalpando felt hopeful for the first time in months. "Unfortunately, our city has been labeled as one of the most corrupt cities and poorest," the 45-year-old resident said Wednesday. "But I want my city to be known as the city that led to reformation of the government. " Among the Bell-related reforms that lawmakers approved was a bill banning automatic pay raises that exceed the cost-of-living index built into the contracts of local government officials.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 18, 2010 | By Catherine Saillant, Los Angeles Times
Legislation intended to curb pension spiking has become so watered down that it would now do little to prevent California public employees from boosting their end-of-career paychecks, critics say, prompting reform advocates and bill sponsor state Controller John Chiang to withdraw support. Assembly Bill 1987 had been touted as an end to the pension boosting that occurs when public employees add unused vacation, sick time and other benefits to their final year's compensation in order to drive up pensions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 24, 2011 | By Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times
City managers convicted of felony misuse of taxpayer funds would lose public pension benefits under a legislative proposal that is among several introduced this month in response to the financial scandal in Bell. The fresh round of Bell-inspired bills comes after lawmakers failed to pass similar measures in the final days of last year's legislative session. The current proposals may have better odds because lawmakers will have more time to vet them in committee and refine them over several months.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 3, 2013 | By Seema Mehta and Catherine Saillant, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles mayoral candidates Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti on Wednesday sought to highlight what they say are needed reforms in city government, an apparent response to criticism that they have avoided specifics on solving chronic budget problems. Greuel said she would consider raising the retirement age for current city workers, along with other changes to the city's pension systems. But she said she would seek changes only through collective bargaining, not by forcing new rules on workers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 1, 1994 | DEBRA CANO
The city could be off the hook of paying millions of dollars to city employees who had hoped to retire with inflated pensions, officials announced Wednesday. Mayor Linda Moulton Patterson said the state Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS) has notified the city it will not accept conversions of benefits for any period other than the 12 months just before retirement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 17, 1994
City officials are in Sacramento today to meet with state Public Employees' Retirement System officials to discuss the city's tab for pension-spiking costs. City Administrator Michael T. Uberuaga, Councilman Dave Sullivan and attorney Peter J. Brown, hired by the council to represent the city on the spiking issue, will be involved in the meeting. "We're trying to find out all our options before deciding how to proceed further," Sullivan said.
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