Thursday, March 9, 2017

Top LA County Pension Passes $400,000 Mark (Marinwood has a pension crisis too!)

The pension crisis looms over Marinwood too.

Top LA County Pension Passes $400,000 Mark

by Robert Fellner
The top pension payout at the Los Angeles County Employees' Retirement Association (LACERA) has eclipsed $400,000 for the first time ever, according to just released public pension data.
Today, Transparent California released 2016 pension payout data for the city and county of Los Angeles, as well as the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System (SDCERS).
Former Harbor-UCLA Medical Center chief physician Charles Mehringer's $403,375 pension was the first time the $400,000 threshold was broken at LACERA. The next 3 highest LACERA pension payouts went to:
  • Retired sheriff Leroy Baca: $334,978.
  • Retired UCLA medical center chief physician Robert Morin: $326,278.
  • Retired sheriff Larry Waldie: $325,554.
The top three Los Angeles City Employees' Retirement System (LACERS) payouts went to:
  1. Retired personnel department general manager Margaret Whelan: $237,451.
  2. Retired harbor department general manager Bruce Seaton: $236,530.
  3. Retired harbor department port pilot Michael Owens: $234,159.
San Diego
Former fire battalion chief Benjamin Castro's $885,848 payout topped the SDCERS list — $816,760 of which came from the controversial deferred retirement option plan (DROP). DROP allows an employee to draw a salary and pension simultaneously for up to 5 years, with each year’s pension being deposited into an interest-bearing account. Upon actual retirement, the accumulated balance can be withdrawn either as a lump-sum payment or rolled over into an annuity.
The next three highest SDCERS payouts went to:
  • Retired assistant police chief Mark Jones: $797,408.
  • Retired police captain Dawn Summers: $747,843.
  • Retired fire battalion chief Daniel Saner: $727,696.
To view the entire dataset in a searchable and downloadable format, visit
Transparent California is California’s largest and most comprehensive database of public sector compensation and is a project of the Nevada Policy Research Institute, a nonpartisan, free-market think tank. Learn more at

Editor's Note: Marinwood CSD has a major problem with its pension and personnel costs and no realistic plan in place to pay.  It is a looming crisis, yet full time staff continues to be added to payroll when an aggressive restructuring is needed. The only action the board has taken has to open an irrevocable trust to pay for healthcare costs.  The employee groups are scared too and want to insure they have something if a bankruptcy becomes reality for the Marinwood CSD.  

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