As California looks at ways to fix the budget crisis perhaps we should look at our pension obligations for current retirees. While this is but the tip of the iceberg, it should open our eyes as to meeting our future contributions to this fund. According to the following report, 4,818 CA public sector retirees each receive in excess of $100,000 per anum in their CalPERS pensions. Folks that’s one half billion dollars ($500,000,000) per year and taking off like a rocket ship.
Leading this distinguished group is Bruce Malkenhorst, former city administrator from the city of Vernon who, according to the report, receives $41,639.57 per month or $499,674.84 per year.
Having followed the controversial 2006 election in Vernon I am not surprised by this disclosure. Earlier this year the “Court Sided With Voters (in voter registration) Challenge by City of Vernon.” To comprehend the magnitude of this excessive annual pension payment I must report that the population of Vernon is only 92 residents.
Gilbert Note: It is not clear if the CalPERS retirement checks are for Bruce Sr. or Bruce Jr.
Do the math. CalPERS, California Public Employees Retirement System, provides “retirement, health, and related financial programs and benefits to more than 1.6 million public employees, retirees, and their families and more than 2,500 public employers.”
Receipt of the following press release triggered this post:
from the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility
April 29, 2009
SEARCHABLE PENSION DATABASE NOW ONLINE
Nearly 5,000 retired California government workers collect annual pensions of $100,000 or more from CalPERS
Today the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility (CFFR) has put online a list of nearly 5,000 retired government workers who are collecting annual pensions of $100,000 or more from the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS).
The database of 4,818 names has been made available in a searchable format at <http://www.californiapensionreform.com/calpers>. Dubbed “The CalPERS $100,000 Pension Club,” its opening page features the Top 10 pensioners. A retiree from Vernon heads the list with an annual pension of $499,674.
“We feel it’s time for transparency on this issue,” says Marcia Fritz, vice president of CFFR. “In the current economic climate, it’s important that taxpayers know what kind of pensions our public employees are receiving and what the budget implications will be.”
CFFR was founded in 2007 by Keith Richman, a former 38th District Assemblyman. Richman says the foundation’s sole purpose is to tackle the skyrocketing costs of public employee retirements.
“If we don’t do something soon there may be several government entities that go bankrupt, and those that don’t are going to die from a thousand cuts in services,” says Richman. “And because of the strength of the public employee unions as a special interest group in California, I don’t have any confidence at all that Sacramento
will address this issue.”
The list was obtained from CalPERS under the Freedom of Information Act.
CFFR is a non-profit political organization committed to educating the public and key decision makers about California public employee retirement benefit issues and developing fiscally responsible solutions that are fair to employees, employers and taxpayers. CFFR believes managing the pension and retiree health care obligations
promised to public employees is the most critical public finance issue of this decade.
Gilbert addition. The top 10 CalPERS recipients are as follows.
NAME MONTHLY ANNUAL CITY/AGENCY
BRUCE MALKENHORST $41,639.57 $499,674.84 VERNON
JOAQUIN FUSTER $24,712.99 $296,555.88 UC LOS ANGELES
DONALD GERTH $23,171.22 $278,054.64 CSU SACRAMENTO
JAMES STAHL $22,145.08 $265,740.96 L A CO SANIT #2
JOHN SCHLAG $21,300.04 $255,600.48 UC LOS ANGELES
WILLIAM GARRETT $21,228.81 $254,745.72 EL CAJON
RAYMOND PATCHETT $19,969.65 $239,635.80 CARLSBAD
ROBERT TOONE JR $19,412.28 $232,947.36 PALMDALE
DIANNE OKI $19,263.68 $231,164.16 STATE COMP INS
CARL BORONKAY $18,734.40 $224,812.80 METROPOLITAN WT
Vernon is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. The population was 91 at the 2000 census. It has the smallest population of any incorporated city in Southern California; most of the city’s land area is occupied by industrial facilities.