CalPERS Election Crucial
By: Phil Jonas, District Attorney Investigator and SEBA Secretary
You may have noticed your take home pay decreased on the July 18th paycheck. This reduction is a result of SBCERA changing the contribution rates. SBCERA employer and member contribution rates are set annually. Changes to the rates are determined by financial studies conducted by independent actuaries. The Board of Retirement reviews and sets contribution rate increases or decreases on the basis of these studies each fiscal year.
The most recent rate change took effect last month. If you compare your 7/18 pay stub to your 7/4 paystub, you will notice that your retirement contribution increased. For example, as a Tier I member with an entry age of 24, my contribution increased from 12.19% to 12.94%. Tier II members saw their rate increase from 15.15% to 16.54%. That 1.4% increase negated half of our negotiated 3% pay raise.
Last year, SBCERA reported a 13.2% fiscal year return (176% of expected return), and the portfolio has continued to grow in the new fiscal year, reaching an all-time high of $9.7 billion. Despite strong investment returns, citing the actuarial studies, the Board of Retirement to reduce the expected rate of return to 7.25% which coincidentally mirrored action taken by the CalPERS board.
CalPERS has been experiencing poor investment returns for years because of misguided attempts to play politics with their investments under a scheme known as Environmental & Social Governance (ESG). Under ESG, CalPERS has even sought to divest from gun manufacturers and gun retailers regardless of investment return consequences. Corona PD Sergeant Jason Perez has been engaged in the fight against ESG for several years. He is now running for a seat on the CalPERS Board to ensure that investments are made with an eye on maximizing returns.
We have experienced that CalPERS poor investments trickle down and affect our pocketbooks. For this reason, the SEBA Board of Directors has endorsed Jason Perez for CalPERS Board. Ballots are being mailed out to active CalPERS members this week.
Please encourage your friends and family who are CalPERS members to vote for Jason Perez.