Jul 13 2014

Pensions, Health Care Costs, Assets: July 16

The Police and Fire Pension Board (PFPB) will meet in the Council Chamber, 120 Vista Avenue, on Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at 4 p.m. The board will hear a report on the number of current beneficiaries and the benefits paid in the 4th quarter of 2013/14.  Jack Horgan and/or Brad Kane of Osterweis Capital Management will report on the pension fund investments and other post-employment benefits investments.

PFPB members are Chairman Bill Hosler, Mayor Margaret Fujioka, Councilmember Robert McBain, Tom Kinkaid representing the Police Department, and Brian Gidney representing  the Fire Department.  According to the City website, staff are Erick Cheung and Paul Benoit.

The PFPB meets quarterly to oversee the City’s public safety pension plan and will continue to meet as long as there are retirees or dependents who are covered by the old plan.

The meeting is open to the public, but will not be broadcast.  Prior to meetings, materials indicating assets and beneficiary numbers have usually not been publicly distributed.  Those present at the meeting and requesters after the meeting will be provided any distributed information.  


When voters approved Piedmont employees transfer to Cal PERS (California Public Employees Retirement System), Piedmont’s existing pension system remained only for previously retired employees.  The fund currently holds assets exceeding in the millions projected costs of the remaining beneficiaries.  On the other hand, the City’s contribution to PERS requires the City and its employees to annually pay increased amounts to PERS to cover pension costs. 

The PERS costs along with health and welfare benefits for retirees are an ongoing large expense to the City.  The cost of retiree health insurance, separate from PERS, is regularly brought up at Council meetings as a significant underfunded  City liability.  Mention has been made of using any residual funds from the Police and Fire Pension Fund to pay retiree health benefits to reduce the City’s liability.  In the future this may be a possibility, but it is dependent on the longevity of those currently receiving benefits from the Police and Fire Pension Fund assets and any applicable laws governing pension funds.

The entire Pension Board charge can be found here.

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