Local government: bankruptcy; retired employees; disclosure of names and mailing addresses
AB 241 requires local public entities to provide the name and mailing address of each retired employee (or employee’s beneficiary) to organizations representing retired employees in municipal bankruptcy or similar proceedings, as specified in new Government Code Section 53760.9. The provision limits the organization to using the information for representation of the retired employees. Its stated purpose is to ensure that retirees have the opportunity to meaningfully participate in the legal processes of a local public entity filing bankruptcy. This bill could impact public entities such as CCCERA’s participating employers in the event they are likely to become unable to meet their financial obligations and initiate a neutral evaluation process as prescribed in Government Code Section 53760.3. If that occurs, they would be subject to the notification requirements set forth in Government Code Section 53760.9.
Local government: sexual harassment training and education
Existing law requires CCCERA, as a local agency, to provide at least 2 hours of training and education regarding sexual harassment to all CCCERA supervisory employees. AB 1661 requires CCCERA trustees to receive sexual harassment prevention training and education. Each trustee must receive at least two hours of sexual harassment prevention training and education within the first six months of taking office, and every two years thereafter. (Article 2.4.5, Government Code Sections 53237-53237.5.)
County Employees’ Retirement: Contra Costa County
Contra Costa County has a unique disability standard as compared to the rest of the retirement systems governed by the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 (CERL). The unique disability standard applies a “substantial gainful employment” test for Tier III members. (Gov’t Code Sec. 31720.1.) AB 1692 authorizes the Board of Supervisors of Contra Costa County to require the application of the Tier III disability standard (31720.1 substantial gainful employment), Tier III disability amounts and Tier III COLA amounts to general (non-safety) California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA) members. This provision only apply to general (non-safety) PEPRA members who work for the County and other agencies for whom the County Board of Supervisors is the governing body. (Gov’t Code Sec. 31755.4.)
Local agency meetings: agenda: online posting
Requires prominent posting of current meeting agendas on the CCCERA website. The new requirement applies to meetings held on or after January 1, 2019.
County Employees’ Retirement: Los Angeles County
AB 2376 contains two provisions that impact CCCERA:
- A provision sponsored by the California Retired County Employees Association (CRCEA) has expanded the voting powers of an alternate retired member of a CERL retirement board. Specifically, new Gov’t Code Section 31520.6 allows the alternate retired member to vote whenever two elected board members are absent. This change is effective January 1, 2017. Previously, the CERL allowed the alternate retirement member to vote only in place of the regular retired member of the board.
- A provision sponsored by the State Association of County Retirement Systems (SACRS) authorizes CERL systems to opt to accept electronic data from employers rather than a signed sworn statement from new members.
The remainder of AB 2376 applies only to Los Angeles County.
Public Retirement Systems: funds: disclosures
This bill applies to contracts entered into on and after January 1, 2017 as well as existing contracts for which a new capital commitment is made on or after January 1, 2017. It requires a public pension or retirement system to require alternative investment vehicles in which it invests to make specified disclosures regarding fees, expenses, and the gross and net rate of return in connection with these vehicles and the underlying investments. The bill requires public pension systems to disclose the information received in connection with alternative investment vehicles at least once annually at a meeting open to the public. The bill further requires as to all other alternative investment contracts that the public pension fund undertake reasonable efforts to obtain the same fee information and comply with the annual public meeting report.
Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review. State government.
SB 112 added Government Code Section 31680.15, which provides:
- On and after January 1, 2018, a person who has retired under this chapter may serve without reinstatement from retirement or loss or interruption of benefits under this chapter, as an elective officer.
- If a retired person serves without reinstatement from retirement in an elective office and part or all of his or her retirement allowance is based on service in that elective office, the portion of the allowance based on service in that elective office shall be suspended during incumbency in that elective office. The entire retirement allowance shall be paid for time on and after the person vacates the elective office in the monthly amount payable had the allowance not been suspended.
Status: Approved by the Governor on September 28, 2017.
County employees’ retirement: retirement funds: transfers.
SB 671 amended CERL Government Code Section 31582 that permits a county and district to make an advance payment of all or part of the county’s or district’s estimated annual contributions to the retirement fund. The bill makes the following changes effective January 1, 2018:
- Increases the cap on the amount of advance payments allowed from up to one-year’s worth of contributions to up to two-years’ worth of contributions, provided that the payment is made within 30 days after the commencement of the county’s fiscal year. The retirement system will therefore potentially see up to double the prepayment amount and will consequently have to potentially deploy double the funds into the system’s investment portfolio.
- Clarifies that districts in all 1937 Act counties may make advanced payments of their estimated annual 1937 Act contributions.
- Includes technical, conforming clean up language to add references to “pensionable compensation” as defined by PEPRA to the requirement that the county auditor determine and transfer the estimated annual employer contribution based on the employees’ “compensation earnable” as defined under the classic formula.
Status: Approved by the Governor on July 17, 2017.
Local agency meetings: local agency executive compensation: oral report of final action recommendation
The Ralph M. Brown Act requires that all meetings of a legislative body of a local agency be open and public, except that closed sessions may be held under prescribed circumstances. The CCCERA Board may hold a closed session to consider the appointment, employment, evaluation of performance, discipline, or dismissal of a public employee, but generally prohibits the closed session from including discussion or action on proposed compensation. The Board may hold a closed session with CCCERA’ s designated representatives regarding the salaries, salary schedules, or compensation paid in the form of fringe benefits of its represented and unrepresented employees, but prohibits the closed session from including final action on the proposed compensation of one or more unrepresented employees. Lastly, the Board is prohibited from calling a special meeting regarding the salaries, salary schedules, or compensation paid in the form of fringe benefits of CCCERA employees.
SB 1436 requires the Board, prior to taking final action, to orally report a summary of a recommendation for a final action on the salaries, salary schedules, or compensation paid in the form of fringe benefits of a local agency executive during the open meeting in which the final action is to be taken. This requirement only applies to a “Local Agency Executive” as defined by statute. (See Gov’t Code Sections 54953 and 351 1. 1.)