CalPERS’ $100K club increases 900%

CalPERS’ $100K club increases 900%

Pension reform shredded, Cagle, Wolverton, Aug. 25, 2014Let the good times roll! for those getting pensions from the California Public Employees Retirement System, anyway.

The Register reported:

Back in 2005, some 1,841 retirees pulled down more than $100,000 a year in pension checks from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

By 2009, this so-called “$100K club” had more than tripled, to 6,133 members.

And by the end of 2013, membership had nearly tripled again, to 16,838, according to data from CalPERS.

We’re talking growth in excess of 900 percent in just eight years, and no one expects the $100K club to stop growing any time soon.

This may give Joe Citizen an idea of why public pensions threaten to be an albatross around the necks of California governments (and, by extension, the necks of Joe Citizens themselves) – and why the question of whether public pension formulas are set in stone, or can be reduced, is so bitterly debated.

“The $100K club – it’s just not sustainable,” said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, a Democrat fighting to get a pension reform initiative on the 2016 ballot.

“On the public safety side, the average pension for people who have retired in the last four to five years is over $100,000. That’s not extraordinary – that’s average,” Reed said.

However, his reform will not reduce existing pensions, only those going forward. Assuming voters even pass it.

And assuming the language of the initiative isn’t sabotaged again, as it was earlier this year by Attorney General Kamala Harris.

But the real problem is that the state’s taxpayers, already strangulated by the country’s highest taxes, and with the highest poverty rate, can’t afford these Rolls-Royce pensions.

The next recession will tank state and local budgets the same way as the Dot-Com bust of 1999-2000 and the recent Great Recession. When that happens, as Reed has joked, budgets will be cut so much cities will be reduced to employing a single person — the one who writes the pension checks.

Bottom line: The pensions, including existing pensions, will be cut no matter what. There just isn’t enough money to pay them and hasn’t been since the pension-spiking binge during the Dot-Com boom 15 years ago.

76 comments

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  1. Terry
    Terry 22 October, 2014, 10:36

    Just another nail in the coffin of Ca and the US in general. I hope everyone has plenty of food water guns and ammo stored up. You are going to need all it.

    Reply this comment
  2. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 22 October, 2014, 12:27

    This country’s turned into a damn kleptocracy. The ruling class steals from the producers and turns the plunder over the the lazy and incompetent. The producers must work their fingers to the bone until 70-75 for a lousy $20,000 annual social security benefit while the trough feeders collect 80%-90% of their last paycheck @ 55 for the rest of their natural lives.
    The answer? Go Galt! Tune in, turn on, drop out! F ’em!

    Reply this comment
    • T Ted E-- Mind of your Godhead Ted
      T Ted E-- Mind of your Godhead Ted 22 October, 2014, 13:32

      Collapso— Too bad your “fact”s are only “collapso-facts” ™ and not reality!

      Hurry! Post now !

      Do IT !

      Reply this comment
    • SeeSaw
      SeeSaw 22 October, 2014, 20:28

      People are in this together, LIC. My spouse gets the lousy SS benefit, which we are grateful for, by the way, with a DB pension that doesn’t even cover the medical insurance premium–and he did work his fingers to the bone until age 70. He has me, and that is where sustainability comes in. I was 72 when I retired–miscellaneous employees do not retire at age 55, because they are not going to get 80 to 90 percent of their incomes at those ages. With PEPRA, new employees will need to work until age 67 to get full retirements. So quit your whining. Is there any time in your day, for you to live your own life, without fretting that someone else might be getting something you aren’t getting?

      Reply this comment
      • NTHEOC
        NTHEOC 22 October, 2014, 20:53

        without fretting that someone else might be getting something you aren’t getting?
        ————————————————
        That’s why they have the CWD! A place for DOOMER NATION to come and whine…..

        Reply this comment
      • Rex the Wonder Dog!
        Rex the Wonder Dog! 23 October, 2014, 22:47

        My spouse gets the lousy SS benefit, which we are grateful for, by the way…He has me…
        ==
        LOL…poor guy 🙂

        Reply this comment
    • BrianD
      BrianD 24 October, 2015, 08:48

      Let’s make sure all these $100K pensioners “pay their fair share” of taxes and are properly labeled as *rich* by liberals as they have private sector folks who have managed to create a modest $1M 401(k) nest egg. These pensions are worth $2.5M per participant if they retire at 60 and live 25 years. That makes these pensioners “1%’ers” in reality yet their pensions have been hidden by law makers from being counted in ones legal net worth considerations. Govt protecting insiders is a priority over all else in CA, and the US in general.

      Reply this comment
  3. T Ted E-- Mind of your Godhead Ted
    T Ted E-- Mind of your Godhead Ted 22 October, 2014, 13:30

    While I have made my comments on this post under several AKA’s on Cal Pensions for my buddy Ed, let me just say this–

    BULLY for the retired employees who earned what they legally contracted for!

    Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelightful!

    Reply this comment
    • John Seiler
      John Seiler Author 22 October, 2014, 18:16

      But you still can squeeze only so much juice from an orange.

      Reply this comment
      • T Ted E-- Mind of your Godhead Ted
        T Ted E-- Mind of your Godhead Ted 22 October, 2014, 19:24

        True that John—-but the positive nature of the payout, the statutory protection, the increased contos from new employees, the actuarial profile—- looks good.

        Discuss–

        Reply this comment
      • SeeSaw
        SeeSaw 22 October, 2014, 19:47

        New figures from CalPERS show that 67 cents of every retirement dollar paid out is coming from the investment earnings–so that helps your juice problem right there.

        Reply this comment
    • SeeSaw
      SeeSaw 22 October, 2014, 19:45

      That’s what I was just thinking, Ted. I sure wish that I were getting that much. But we are much better off with other citizens having money to put into the economy than we are with private sector workers who didn’t get DB retirements and who didn’t have anything saved on their own for retirement–and I know some of them.

      Reply this comment
      • NTHEOC
        NTHEOC 22 October, 2014, 21:12

        private sector workers who didn’t get DB retirements
        ———————————————-
        Oh they used to Seesaw! And they probably still would be getting them had it not been for the greedy upper corporate hogs! It would seem way more productive for the CWD to fight for the private sector instead of feeding the Doomer nation!
        The CEO-to-worker compensation ratio was 20-to-1 in 1965 and 29.9-to-1 in 1978, grew to 122.6-to-1 in 1995, was at 383.4-to-1 in 2000, and was 390.0 to-1 in 2013, current data shows with the flourishing economy the CEO-to-worker compensation ratio is 510.7-to-1.far higher than it was in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, or 1990s!!!!!!!!! Hmmmmmmm, and people wonder why the private sector workers get screwed…

        Reply this comment
        • John Seiler
          John Seiler Author 22 October, 2014, 22:23

          So are you saying Apple, Google, Intel, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, etc. should be seized by the government and run like the DMV?

          Reply this comment
        • Maleko
          Maleko 28 October, 2015, 19:10

          Life is all about choices my friend. CalPers will be able to fund these retirements if the politicians are kept from meddling with it. Past legislators promised government employees enhanced retirement benefits in lieu of pay raises for decades. Most Public sector employees don’t get rich at their jobs. They trade wealth for job security and a good retirement. If you don’t like this, get a government job and/or quit electing liberals who promise anything for a vote without thinking of the consequences.

          Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 23 October, 2014, 08:42

      You RAGWUS feeders are as dumb as my pet rock. When the “$100,000 club” reaches 1,000,000 members, or even half that Calpers will not be able to sustain its costs. Do the simple math you RAGWUS clowns. 🙂

      Reply this comment
      • SeeSaw
        SeeSaw 23 October, 2014, 09:55

        Donkey, the money going into CalPERS is a percentage of payroll–the higher the salary, the higher the CalPERS fees.

        Reply this comment
        • Rex the Wonder Dog!
          Rex the Wonder Dog! 23 October, 2014, 22:55

          Not true- the MAX CalTURDS contribution is 16% (public safety) under the new law. So the higher the pension does not mean higher CalTURDS contributions.

          Reply this comment
          • SeeSaw
            SeeSaw 23 October, 2014, 23:40

            Yes, Rex. The pension contributions are a percentage of gross salary–the higher the salary, the higher the pension contribution must be. And, the higher the salary, the higher the pension amount at retirement. Of course, with PEPRA there is now a cap on pensionable income–that would most likely prevent the $100,000 pensions. It would still not prevent, respective, entities paying their CM’s a bonus in addition to the pension, like mine did.

          • Rex the Wonder Dog!
            Rex the Wonder Dog! 24 October, 2014, 09:54

            Did you miss reading comprehension in 3rd grade? The MAX % is 16%, so the higher the salary does not mean the higher the %. The contributions are 7%-16% and 16% is the maximum CAP, but the cap on the taxpayer end , already at over 40% for safety, goes over 100% in some cases.

          • S Moderation Douglas
            S Moderation Douglas 24 October, 2014, 09:59

            The dog has reading comprehension problems, particularly with percentages.

          • S Moderation Douglas
            S Moderation Douglas 24 October, 2014, 10:03

            Quick, Dog, what is 16% of $40,000?
            What is 16% $50,000?

            Which of those two answers is larger?

            It ain’t rocket surgery!

            You’re welcome.

          • Rex the Wonder Dog!
            Rex the Wonder Dog! 24 October, 2014, 13:01

            Dougie, you and seesaw are nit wits!

            Seesaw claimed, incorrectly, the % rose as the salary rose- I correctly pointed out the % is CAPPED at 16%, and the % does NOT increase with the salary.

            Oh…I think I may be able to buy you and seesaw some Alzheimer’s medicine 😉

          • S Moderation Douglas
            S Moderation Douglas 24 October, 2014, 13:53

            Only in doggie dollars, pup. You’re zero for eight.

          • SeeSaw
            SeeSaw 24 October, 2014, 18:29

            You are the one not comprehending Rex. The percentage might stay the same, but the amount rises along with salary increases. That’s how more funds get into the system.

          • Ted
            Ted "Eddy Baby" Steele, Associate Prof. 29 October, 2014, 08:34

            LOL– Now that brightened The Ted’s day— poor Poodle girl!

            Hey– Poodle — How many times have you thrown one of your hissy-fits and quit this blog?

  4. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 22 October, 2014, 14:43

    “DOOMER NATION UNITE” !!!!! The sky is falling, well it will one day. No really, it’s falling!!! The CWD feeding doomer nation as always.
    Btw,calpers Reflects market value, as of market close on 10/21/2014.
    $292.6 Billion

    Reply this comment
    • John Seiler
      John Seiler Author 22 October, 2014, 18:23

      But the CalPERS fund was $260 billion in 2007. So in 7 years, it’s gone up just 13 percent. Yet CalPERS needs to go up at least 7 percent a year to remain solvent.

      And that time saw the huge multiplication of the $100K Club, as reported above.

      It doesn’t matter how big the fund is. If the fund grows more slowly than the payouts, it will go bust.

      I suggest all CalPERS members roll back their lifestyles and start saving money, because you’re not likely to get 100 percent of what was promised.

      Reply this comment
      • SeeSaw
        SeeSaw 22 October, 2014, 19:58

        The fund cannot grow unless money is deposited into it–and money will not be deposited into it, unless the various entities have workers on the payroll making the kind of salaries that are needed for those sizes of retirement. The people in that Club are former managers–not the rank and file who make up the unions that you so hate. Why on earth would you wish ill-will on public workers, just because you chose a different line of work! I got what the chart said I would get and so have hundreds of thousands of retirees who came before me–as will the hundreds of thousands who will come after me! The fund does need to gain that targeted 7.5% ROI over the long haul–so far it is doing that. The average for the previous 20 years is 8.5%. Wipe those green monsters off your collar!

        Reply this comment
      • SeeSaw
        SeeSaw 22 October, 2014, 20:16

        CalPERS lost one-fourth of its portfolio in 2009–from 260 billion down to 160 billion. So it has had a long was to go, to climb back up the hill. In fact, it has lost ten billion overe this last month–I suppose that will make you happy–it concerns me.

        Reply this comment
      • SeeSaw
        SeeSaw 22 October, 2014, 20:32

        We all saved money from our own salaries when we were employed in the public-sector, JS. Its called the 457–and it buys the groceries and pays for the utilities.

        Reply this comment
      • S Moderation Douglas
        S Moderation Douglas 22 October, 2014, 22:39

        LOL, John

        Yet another Seilerism. The fund doesn’t have to “grow” 7% a year. It needs to earn an average 7.5% ROI, but, even if it does, it will not “grow” 7.5%………………..UNLESS they stop sending out checks..

        SeeSaw and I don’t want them to do that.

        You do understand that a 900% increase in the NUMBER of $100k pensions is NOT a 900% increase in the total AMOUNT paid out?

        Reply this comment
      • Ted
        Ted "Eddy Baby" Steele, Associate Prof. 29 October, 2014, 08:35

        John—- You’re kidding about your rhetorical actuary question—- right?

        Reply this comment
      • Reality check
        Reality check 20 March, 2015, 06:57

        Sick of you whiners complaining behind the safety of your desk or couch. FD and PD pensions are well earned and deserved. Find something else to rant about.

        Reply this comment
  5. S Moderation Douglas
    S Moderation Douglas 22 October, 2014, 15:28

    No need to panic, yet.

    First, one should (hopefully) realize that a “900% increase” is the NUMBER of pensions, not the amount of money paid out. Yeah, sounds like a no- brainer, but you might be surprised how many non-brains are reading this.

    Second, guess what? The number of $50,000 pensions has also increased. Maybe by as much as 900%. And the number of $25,000 pensions. It’s just math. Not a union thug conspiracy.

    “It’s a simple function of mathematics: Those who got $99,000 last year will get a 2 percent COLA this year, and, voila, find themselves in the club. So even if zero new retirees enter the system, the ranks of $100K-club pensioners will keep growing.”

    (They MAY get a 2% COLA this year. That’s the max, not the minimum.)

    ( http://www.ocregister.com/articles/pension-639019-public-club.html)

    Slow news day?

    Reply this comment
    • SeeSaw
      SeeSaw 22 October, 2014, 20:02

      You are so right, SMD! It has to do with the ever-increasing cost of living! There was a time, many years ago, when I read in a publication that, one-day in the future, an automobile would cost $10,000–I almost fainted. At that time, anybody with a thousand-dollar per month retirement was in gravy!

      Reply this comment
    • SeeSaw
      SeeSaw 22 October, 2014, 20:09

      I didn’t get a 2% COLA this year, SMD. I got 1.7%–same as the SS increase. News just came out today that the 2015 SS increase will again be 1.7%–so I will not be getting 2% for 2015 either.

      Reply this comment
    • SeeSaw
      SeeSaw 23 October, 2014, 20:53

      There is a pie-chart on the CalPERS website today covering those with service retirements: 2% of the recipients are in the 100+ Club; 20+ percent receive between 25K and 100K–(I fall into the middle of that group, and half of my take-home check goes to cover medical insurance premiums); 50 percent of the CalPERS annuitants receive less than $18,000/yr. The second-to-largest group gets between $18,000 and $36,000/yr. I doubt that those who are always on here badmouthing CalPERS recipients will not even take a look at that information–they don’t want to know that we are not all rich–it would ruin their attitudes about life.

      Reply this comment
      • SeeSaw
        SeeSaw 23 October, 2014, 21:53

        I apologize–I gave the wrong source for the information–that’s what age does to a person sometimes. The pie-chart I saw today was in the Sept/Oct, RPEA newsletter. The chart shows the breakdown of yearly incomes for all CalPERS service retirees:

        2%, $100K or more; 24%, $36K-$100K; 24%, $18K-$36K; 50%, $18K or less.

        Reply this comment
  6. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 22 October, 2014, 18:03

    By the time I retire I hope to be in the 200k club!!!!

    Reply this comment
    • SeeSaw
      SeeSaw 22 October, 2014, 20:06

      I wish you well, NTHEOC. With the new PEPRA, workers will have their pensionable income capped at much less than 200K. My former CM is actually in the 300k+ Club, thanks to a very generous Council that gave him an ongoing bonus in addition to his CalPERS. I don’t approve at all–but it was legal and nobody will have to worry about him.

      Reply this comment
  7. John Seiler
    John Seiler Author 22 October, 2014, 18:16

    NTHEOC: If the U.S. empire goes the way of the Soviet Empire and its pensions c. 1991-92, you’ll be lucky if it’s $2K.

    Reply this comment
  8. Desmond
    Desmond 22 October, 2014, 19:45

    We write the computer code to dispense the meds to the most hated generation and prepare them for disposal…Like a giant sink with a wood chipper where the garbage disposal would be. Don t worry, we have our own waste treatment plant. Go green. Save the planet.

    Reply this comment
    • SeeSaw
      SeeSaw 22 October, 2014, 20:12

      Your grandmother would be so proud of you, Desmond–and your mother and father too.

      Reply this comment
      • LetitCollapse
        LetitCollapse 23 October, 2014, 08:55

        I don’t blame Desmond his comments, seesaw. Our generation is burying his generation financially. And you are one of those with a shovel in her hand. And you show no remorse for it. You don’t respect his generation. Why should his generation respect you?

        Reply this comment
        • SeeSaw
          SeeSaw 23 October, 2014, 10:07

          Oh baloney! I have children who are baby boomers and they have worked very hard to give their own children, who are the ages of this nitwit, good lives. They all receive financial gifts from me and my spouse, thanks to my pension. Nobody I know, is blaming grandma and grandpa for whatever their lot is in life.

          Reply this comment
        • S Moderation Douglas
          S Moderation Douglas 23 October, 2014, 11:13

          “And you are one of those with a shovel in her hand.”

          Remorse? Wear a hair shirt yourself, if you feel guilty.

          This IS America, you have freedom of speech, you have to your opinion.

          You also have the right to remain silent.

          Grow up, and exercise your right to remain silent.

          “You don’t respect his generation.” ????????

          I have been reading SeeSaw’s posts for years. I have seen nothing to suggest that she has done ANYTHING to feel guilty about, or to show that she “disrespects” Desmond or his generation.

          Reply this comment
        • S Moderation Douglas
          S Moderation Douglas 23 October, 2014, 11:37

          ” I don’t blame Desmond his comments” ????

          “dispense the meds to the most hated generation and prepare them for disposal…Like a giant sink with a wood chipper where the garbage disposal would be.”

          It doesn’t add anything to the discussion. It’s uncivil. Rude, at best, and threatening. Or, it would be threatening if Desmond were anything more than a sniveling wuss.

          Sometimes, on these boards, there is a give and take of ideas. I have learned a lot.

          Other times, frankly, there’s Desmond and LIC. Please grow up.

          Reply this comment
        • SeeSaw
          SeeSaw 23 October, 2014, 22:02

          My grandchildren range in ages from 20 to 33, LIC. There are five of them–the only thing I shovel to them is love! Granparents of Desmond: You have my sympathy.

          Reply this comment
  9. desmond
    desmond 23 October, 2014, 05:07

    They are very proud. My grandfather is not, he wanted me to be a Doctor.

    Reply this comment
  10. desmond
    desmond 23 October, 2014, 19:43

    Douglas,
    Can I invite you to a two mile ocean swim competition(no assistance), or a 50 mile cross country bike competition(mountain trail, no paved roads) or a standard marathon(26.2 miles). I will give you a head start. The most fun is the open ocean swim. It is difficult to focus when large fish circle. If you like firearms, we could do a 30k biathalon(skiing) when the California snow arrives, plus target shooting. What is your preference?
    Yours Truly,
    Wuss

    Reply this comment
    • Rex the Wonder Dog!
      Rex the Wonder Dog! 23 October, 2014, 22:52

      I think Dougie mentioned somewhere he is retired and an older than dirt, a geezer in his 70’s. He may have an MI if he did your challenge Desmond.

      Dougie, seesaw and Teddy- all 80 year old geezers 😉

      Reply this comment
      • T ted discus champ
        T ted discus champ 25 October, 2014, 12:58

        My guess is that the poodle will never make it to old age, which will of course improve the gene pool.

        Darwin……..mmmmmmmmmm

        Reply this comment
  11. T ted
    T ted 23 October, 2014, 22:42

    Desmond
    You’re a legend in your own shower

    Reply this comment
  12. Bill Gore
    Bill Gore 24 October, 2014, 08:53

    SWEET!

    cue Frank Sinatra: “To the good life”

    also I want to give a shout to the double and triple dippers out there!
    focus, determination, perseverance!

    If they put 1/10 of the ingenuity and intensity that they put into gaming the system into building a business they’d be billionaires…

    Reply this comment
  13. Queeg
    Queeg 24 October, 2014, 11:15

    Poodle that was a vicious hit on Saw……she is the Wizard of CWD spinning doomers around at will…you know it…by the way heard Big Betty threw you out….pity…..she was a peach!

    Reply this comment
  14. Queeg
    Queeg 24 October, 2014, 11:19

    Poodle….Hondo and Collapso are carpetbaggers living in prepper bunkers in other states……Donkey is a mean spirited geezer clipping Dennys’ cuopons behing iron gates in a shabby beach burg. Poodle is a product of California education…enough said….

    You ‘re permitted to respond-

    Reply this comment
  15. Robert T
    Robert T 24 October, 2014, 13:36

    While retirees are protected when the market performs poorly, taxpayers are not. They absorb the risk without ever getting paid back in better years.
    It’s fleecing the taxpayers.

    Butler Benton, a former Wayne County environmental official retired in 2011 with an $80,000 annual pension. That’s worth over $2,000,000!!!

    Time to cut pensions so city services can take place instead of paying for teas being sipped on Florida beaches.

    You can never make pensioners and liberals happy. Because when you ask them what they want, the answer is always: M-O-R-E.

    Reply this comment
    • T Ted E-- Mind of your Godhead Ted
      T Ted E-- Mind of your Godhead Ted 24 October, 2014, 21:09

      Quit you whining robert t

      I made a ton of money in the 70’s and 80’s in ways and amounts no gov employees could have—-thems the breaks—-my buddies who worked for the gov during some of those years made less and some have pensions now some saved their money—- so what?

      grow up
      work harder
      stop whining

      Reply this comment
  16. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 24 October, 2014, 18:39

    I will inform you along with all the other complainers, Robert T, that we retirees are taxpayers too, and we get the same tax bills that you get. So, we all have the same concerns about our taxes being spent wisely. As for the official getting a pension worth over $2,000,000: If I live to be 90, I will have been paid $1,000,000, by CalPERS, over the time-span of my retirement. It will probably have been mostly, spent on medical insurance premiums, housing, rent, utilities, food, clothing, gas, movies, other family members, and god only knows what else. Would I still be a millionaire, anyway?

    Reply this comment
    • bob
      bob 26 October, 2014, 08:08

      With the luck of the hapless taxpayers you will live to be 100.

      Reply this comment
  17. bob
    bob 24 October, 2014, 19:40

    Mammas don’t let yer babies grow up to be anything but gummit employees!

    Reply this comment
  18. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 24 October, 2014, 20:17

    I would recommend that you make sure your babies get an education so that they would not grow up like Bob, and not even know how to pronounce the word, “government”.

    Reply this comment
  19. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 26 October, 2014, 16:00

    Bob is still doing baby talk. He is not smart enough to know anything about government workers, since his IQ hasn’t advanced beyond age 2.

    Reply this comment
  20. Z Z
    Z Z 27 October, 2014, 12:02

    Who cares? This sounds like a California wacko issue. You people voted in the politicians who have helped to create this situation and have allowed the unions to negotiate on behalf of their members this wonderful benefit. If you don’t like it, move from the state or reduce your tax-paying footprint. If you like it, ride it till she blows up.

    I love the comments about “doomers”. Do you put the climate change/global warming/cooling nutcases in with this?

    Reply this comment
  21. T t t teddy
    T t t teddy 28 October, 2014, 12:32

    Zz
    Great post!
    The doomera and the entire Doomer aperacek
    Are wonderful
    The climate thing is another category
    Great comments

    Reply this comment

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