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For any members who purchased Long Term Care Insurance from CalPERS, you may be interested to know that CRCEA has formed an Ad Hoc Committee to monitor the class action lawsuit that has been commenced against CalPERS.  This lawsuit seeks monetary damages and other remedies related to CalPERS' announcement that it will be increasing premiums for some by 85%.  Futher information concering that class action litigation is available at the link below.

You may also find additional information about the CalPERS LTC issues in the letter from the attorneys who are representing the CalPERs members who have been impacted by the change in premium.  Please click on the link below to read the letter.

IN THE NEWS - Week of July 21, 2014

Public pension plans reap benefits from Citigroup settlement
State pension funds in California and Illinois are among the recipients of Citigroup Inc.'s $7 billion in fines and consumer relief to resolve government claims that it misled investors about the quality of mortgage-backed bonds sold before the financial crisis.  The accord includes a record $4 billion civil penalty to the Justice Department, $500 million to state attorneys general and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and about $2.5 billion in various forms of consumer relief to be provided by the end of 2018, the bank said in a statement July 14.  California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced in a statement that the state will receive $102.7 million in damages, which will reimburse the $300.9 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, and the $189.1 billion California State Teachers' Retirement System, West Sacramento. The state also will receive $90 million in consumer relief. (More)
Orange County Supervisors Consider Outsourcing More County Jobs
County supervisors are slated to decide Tuesday whether to ask voters in November to approve changes to the county charter and allow more county jobs to be outsourced to private companies.  The proposed ballot measure, requested by Supervisor John Moorlach, would change the county’s charter to allow the county to privatize more county work than currently is permitted. (More)
Average Orange County Pension 88% of Final Salary
Would you take a 12 percent pay cut in exchange for a 100 percent reduction in work? In Orange County, if you’ve worked 30 years – say from age 25 until age 55 – that is exactly what you can expect. And many OCERS retirees receiving pensions in excess of their highest salary.  For instance, Orange County Department of Education’s former deputy superintendent Lynn Hartline retired in 2013 with an OCERS-reported final average salary of $250,018. Hartline won’t have too much trouble adapting to life without a salary, however. Her 2013 full-year pension benefit from OCERS (Orange County Employees Retirement System) was 100 percent of her final average salary – $250,018.  Charles Walters received the second-highest OCERS yearly payout in 2013. Walters was the former Orange County assistant sheriff who retired in 2008 amidst a criminal grand jury probe for the 2006 murder of John Chamberlain in the jails he oversaw. His pension for the 2013 year was also 100 percent of his final average salary — $226,365.  Unfortunately the examples above are hardly extreme outliers, but rather indicative of an underlying trend.
For all OCERS full-career retirees — those with 30 or more years of service credit for retirement — the average annual pension benefit received in 2013 was $73,875, or nearly 90 percent of their final salary.  ------------ This system encourages government employees to retire 10 to 20 years earlier than their private- sector counterparts. Taxpayers are left paying for six-figure government pensions that most can only dream of, while simultaneously trying to fund their own, significantly smaller pensions. (More)
How King County Saves on Health Costs:Making Employees Healthier 
King County, Washington, launched its employee wellness program seven years ago, its motive was clear. “We were being eaten alive by runaway medical costs,” says the county’s top executive Dow Constantine.  By all accounts, the previous administration was desperate to bring down double-digit health care cost growth that threatened to destroy the entire budget.  That partially explains why King County, which spends nearly $200 million per year to insure 14,000 workers and their families, who mostly live and work here in the county seat, was willing to risk millions more on a wellness program that would prove to break the traditional mold.  It may also explain why labor unions took the unusual step of joining management in a plan that would ultimately shift more health care costs to workers.  But it doesn’t explain why this employee wellness program, which received an innovation award this year from Harvard University, has far surpassed all others in employee participation, health improvement and health care savings. (More)
Orange County Supervisors Reject Government Outsourcing Proposal
Orange County supervisors on Tuesday soundly rejected a proposal to amend the county charter to allow for greater outsourcing of government jobs, barely even allowing a brief public discussion of the issue.  Two county supervisors seeking election this November to the state senate -- Pat Bates and the OC GOP Elected Official of the Year Janet Nguyen -- never even uttered a word from the dais about the idea to outsource government work to the private sector, other than to quietly indicate they didn’t support the idea. (More)
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