Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Ventura County supervisors cut manager pensions

Ventura County supervisors Tuesday voted to trim pension costs for about 950 government managers by trimming back the amount of vacation and sick leave that can be cashed out at retirement.

On a 4-0 vote, supervisors said managers would no longer be able to sell back 160 hours of annual leave  when they retire, reducing it to 100 hours. The change is retroactive to April 5, 2011, when the board froze the sell-back program for new hires and asked county administrators to come back with an alternative.

Supervisor Kathy Long was absent.

An analysis by county Chief Executive Mike Powers showed that most of the county's 8,000 employees receive modest payouts when they retire.  On average, retirees earn $33,000 a year with no cost-of-living increase, he said.

But a small group of top earners have been able to significantly bump up pensions by cashing out leave time and other benefits when they retire, he said. A Los Angeles Times investigation last month showed that 84% of the retirees receiving more than $100,000 a year are receiving more than they did on the job; at least 22 retirees earn more than $200,000.

The changes will result in a 7% reduction in pension costs over the long term, Powers said. Ventura County will immediately save about $450,000 a year, with that figure growing to an estimated $9 million in 20 years.

Employee groups represented by unions maintain the benefit, but supervisors said they would ask for similar reductions during contract negotiations. For current managers, the rights are vested, Powers said. In the last year, several employee groups have agreed to pay more toward their pensions, further reducing the county's cost, he said.

"We achieved good balance here,'' he said.

The Ventura County Taxpayers Assn. has repeatedly asked for more far-reaching reforms, including the cash out of education incentives and other bonuses. Powers said the supervisors asked him to continue investigating whether other reforms are necessary, possibly in concert with Gov. Jerry Brown's 12-point proposal to reduce government pensions.


Report details Latino education gap nationwide

Santa Monica College trustees postpone two-tier tuition plan

School board member used position to recruit prostitutes, officials say

-- Catherine Saillant

Comments () | Archives (0)


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: