Part 2 of 2 City of Mission Viejo employee benefits


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City compensation packages are like an iceburg. What awaits us below the ocean is generally not fully exposed. As you think about giving raises to city employees when teachers are getting pink slips and others are being asked to take cuts in pay or reduction in hours to avert layoffs, consider the long list of benefits given to our city employees who work in Mission Viejo,  the safest city of our size in CA.  They surely do not require supplemental combat pay. Following is taken directly off our city web site.
 
Retirement. Employees of the City are currently covered under the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) – 2.7% at 55 plan, one-year final compensation, and 1959 survivor benefit. Currently, the City pays 5% of the required 8% employee contribution with the employee paying only 3%. While the City does not participate in the Social Security System, federal mandate requires new employees to contribute 1.45% of wages to Medicare insurance coverage.

Retiree Health Account. The City’s Supplemental Health Account for Retired Employees (SHARE) Plan is a defined contribution health reimbursement plan, which is intended to help employees offset post-retirement healthcare costs by allowing employees to contribute pre-tax dollars from their current wages with an additional contribution from the City, into an account that can be accessed upon retirement. To be eligible for the full benefits of the SHARE Plan, an employee must reach age 55 with a total of 15 years of service with the City of Mission Viejo.

The Plan requires mandatory contributions from both the employee and the City. Contributions to the Plan will commence for an employee beginning with the first pay period that occurs after the eligible employee’s completion of one year of service with the City. Eligible employees will be required to contribute 1.5% of their salary. Deductions will be pre-tax and will be taken from each paycheck.

Starting the same date, the City contribution will be $100 per month ($50 per pay period for 24 pay periods) for full-time employees, $75 per month ($37.50 per pay period for 24 pay periods) for full-time equivalents of .750 to .999, and $50 per month ($25 per pay period for 24 pay periods) for full-time equivalents of .500 to .749, after the completion of the waiting period.

Holidays. The City observes ten (10) paid holidays, including a Winter Closure at City Hall and the Corporation Yard between December 26th and December 31st. Employees also have one (1) floating holiday per year, which is credited annually on January 1st (on the employee’s hire date in the first year) and cannot be carried-over.

Comprehensive Annual Leave. Provides employees with paid time off for rest and relaxation, personal or family illness, bereavement, and personal business. For non-exempt classifications, 19 days annual accrual during the first year, increasing to 30 days beginning in year ten, prorated based on the full-time equivalent for all part-time positions. For exempt classifications, 24 days annual accrual during the first year, increasing to 35 days beginning in year ten, prorated based on the full-time equivalent for all part-time positions.

Jury Duty Leave. Employees are granted up to 30 paid days for jury service.

Cafeteria Plan. The City offers a “cafeteria style” flexible benefits plan, with a fixed monthly contribution provided by the City for all regular and probationary full-time and part-time employees. The benefits plan is covered under Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code allowing employees to pay monthly benefit premiums on a pre-tax basis. Benefit coverage begins the first day of the month following thirty-days (30) of continuous regular employment

Medical Insurance. The City contracts with CalPERS to offer medical insurance to employees, plus their qualified dependents. There is a choice from among six plans, Blue Shield Access+ HMO, Blue Shield NetValue HMOKaiserPERS Select PPOPERS Choice PPO, and PERS Care PPO (all PPO plans are administered by Blue Cross). Employees are required to participate in the City group medical plan.

Dental Insurance. The City contracts with Delta dental for dental coverage for employees, plus their qualified dependents. There is a choice among two plans, Delta PPO and Delta Care PMI.

Vision Insurance. The City contracts with Vision Service Plan (VSP) for vision coverage for employees, plus their qualified dependents.

Life Insurance. The City contracts with ING/ReliaStar to provide term life insurance for employees in an amount equal to two (2) times the employee’s annual salary to a maximum of $300,000. The City pays the full cost of the monthly premium. If you need more than the Basic Life insurance the City provides, you may purchase additional coverage by enrolling in the Supplemental Term Life (STL) and AD&D insurance programs.

Short and Long Term Disability. The City contracts with ING/ReliaStar to provide both short and long-term disability insurance coverage to the employee, in a benefit amount up to 66% of the employee’s salary. The City pays the full cost of the monthly premium.

Flexible Spending Accounts. You can set up one Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for health care expenses and another to pay for the cost of caring for your dependents while you are at work. The Health Care Spending Account is a tax-free way to pay any qualified out-of-pocket expenses associated with medical, dental, and vision care for yourself and any family members who are legal dependents. You may contribute between $180 and $3,000, pre-tax, annually to this account. The Dependent Care Spending Account allows you to pay for child or elder care expenses on a tax-free basis. You may contribute between $300 and $5,000 annually towards this account. Both types of accounts are administered through HR Simplified.

Employee Assistant Program. The City contracts with MHN to provide short term counseling benefits, as well as life management services and referrals, to employees, their dependents, and any other members within their household. The City pays the full cost of the monthly premium.

Deferred Compensation. A non-contributory deferred compensation plan is available. There are two carriers to choose from, ICMA and Nationwide.

College Saving Plan. The City offers payroll deductions to a qualified 529 plan. This voluntary CollegeBound fund, managed by Alliance Capital, is a flexible college savings program that helps make saving for a child’s higher education easier.

Wellness Program. The City offers free membership, with some restrictions, to the City’s Recreation and Tennis Centers for employees and their resident family members.

Tuition Reimbursement. Once probation has been successfully completed, the City offers tuition reimbursement to employees for qualified classes and/or programs up to $1,250 per fiscal year, prorated based on the full-time equivalent for all part-time positions. Pre-approval by the employee’s supervisor and the City Manager is required.

Technology Loan Program. Once probation has been successfully completed, an interest-free technology loan is available to employees in an amount up to $3,500, prorated based on the full-time equivalent for all part-time positions.

 Final comment. There is more to wages than  the weekly paycheck.

While I fully support pension reform, linking it to increase in wages  in this recession is simply not acceptable.

 

Overlooked MV employee costs


About Larry Gilbert