RPEA - WHO WE ARE VIDEO
The State Supreme Court has finally ruled on the Marin County pension case
September 28, 2020
The State Supreme Court has finally ruled on the Marin County pension case by sending this case back to the appellate court for final disposition because the ruling in the Alameda case, that was just decided by this court, was the same as the Marin case; anti-spiking practices curtailed by the 2012 pension reform act (PEPRA). The ‘California Rule’ remains intact as a result of this decision. Had the supreme court found in favor of Marin County’s pension system, pension provisions could have been reduced for working public employees because the law would have been changed to allow pensions to only be “reasonable.” This would permit public agencies to change pension provisions which could reduce pension value over time – a reversal of the “California Rule.” This means the ‘California Rule’ has prevailed again. Two cases that were returned to appellate courts remain as potential threats to the ‘California Rule.’ Both of these cases were rejected by the high court based on the Alameda Decision but there is a different issue in them that must be relitigated by the appellate courts that first decided these cases. It’s possible that they could be appealed to the state supreme court again.
RPEA supported ‘amicus briefs’ submitted to the supreme court that urged the court to retain the California Rule.
Director of Public Relation Election do-over
This election will be repeated due to the late notice of the withdrawal of one of the candidates. This caused a number of votes to be cast for the withdrawn candidate. Delegates to 2018 General Assembly (they are the eligible voters) will soon receive a new ballot with two candidate names on the ballot. The results will be available October 2.
RPEA calls for Henry Jones to resign as CalPERS Board President
The Board of Directors of the Retired Public Employees’ Association of California (RPEA) has called for the resignation of Henry Jones, President of the CalPERS Board of Administration. Numerous reasons are cited; lack of transparency, refusal of Board member requests for an emergency meeting to determine the nature of the CIO, Ben Meng’s, abrupt resignation, failure to support investigations into apparent false statements by CalPERS CEO and CFO, poor judgment on several matters and other issues.
See the full letter from RPEA to Mr. Jones here.Learn More
Advocacy and lobbying successes by RPEA in 2019/2020
Aug. 26, 2020
- Two State Supreme Court decisions preserve the “California Rule” – RPEA supported amicus briefs to retain the California Rule
- CalPERS “Pillar’s III and IV” of the 2019 Private Equity Plan were abandoned after opposition from RPEA and other retiree associations
- Many attempts to incorporate secrecy into CalPERS staff delegations were defeated or ordered to be revised – secrecy opposed by most retiree associations
- Withdrawn - AB 2473, a legislative proposal to allow almost complete secrecy about loans made by CalPERS in the new “More and Better Assets” investment plan (may be reintroduced in 2021). RPEA was the clear leader in this effort
- San Benito County RPEA Chapter wins their court battle over retiree health care
- Several CalPERS health plan rates for 2021 were lowered even more after lobbying by RPEA and other retiree associations during the June CalPERS Board meeting
CalPERS Private Loan Bill Withdrawn
Aug. 11, 2020
A CalPERS bill, AB 2473, that RPEA opposed has been withdrawn by CalPERS. This legislation would have allowed almost complete secrecy about CalPERS private loan program. Had this bill passed, beneficiaries of CalPERS would be unable to use the California Public Records Act (CPRA) to learn the terms of the loans and the performance of these loans. The lobbying efforts of RPEA’s Legislation Committee and the CalPERS Experts Committee were recognized by Foxes and Hounds (a financial publication) as important in causing this bill to be withdrawn. There are many questions about the risks involved in private loan investments; loans that banks would not make.
California Rule Upheld
August 5, 2020
In the long-awaited California State Supreme decision, the ‘California Rule’ has been upheld. The basic tenet that your pension, when hired, must be as valuable when you retire is still in place. The decision also upheld the 2012 Pension Reform Act (PEPRA) provision that eliminated ‘spiking’ of pensions by stuffing unused leave time into the final-year pay. In other words, only basic pay can apply to your pension calculation.
California’s Supreme Court will hear arguments on May 5
California’s Supreme Court will hear arguments on May 5 that challenge the California Rule. Hopefully, our pensions will survive this assault unscathed with our benefits intact.
No RMD Required in 2020
Those of you who must take Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) from your IRA or Deferred Comp (457’s), 401K’s, etc. every year: you do not have to take the RMD from your IRA (or deferred comp) account this year (2020 only) unless, of course, you need it to live on. By not taking the RMD you save some federal and state income tax for the 2020 tax year.
New Annuitant Work Hours Policy During State of Emergency
By declaration of the Governor, CalPERS has announced that the 960 annual hours restriction is waived during the Coronavirus emergency period. Annuitant workers can exceed the annual restriction on hours. The 180 day waiting period, after retirement, to begin annuitant work is also waived during the emergency period.
A message to All RPEA members from our friends at AMBIA
A message to All RPEA members from our friends at AMBIA,
We are certainly in unprecedented times. Our partner, AMBIA is busy working from home and are calling as many members as they can to offer policy reviews and benefit reviews to everyone.
If you have never learned about the many benefits that are available to you this may be a great time to check it out. The AMBIA agents could call you, email you, teleconference with you and explain those great benefits to you !
Look for their phone call or if you want someone to call you this week please reach out to our California Regional Vice President Jack Danielson.
You can email him email@example.com or call him at 530 864 3793. He will have someone reach out to you today! This is a great time to learn more about what your RPEA benefits can bring to you!
Thank you and stay well,
On May 1, you will see an increase in your pension allowance due to the annual Cost-OF-Living-Allowance (COLA). See the chart below to determine your increase.
|Year of Retirement||% COLA Increase Effective May 1, 2020|
|2004 & earlier||2%||Retired before 1980 with a 3% COLA max. 1.81%|
|2005-2015||1.81%||Retired before 1970 with 4% COLA max. 1.81%|
|2016-2017||2%||Retired with 5% COLA maximum 1.81%|
|2018||1.81%||These higher COLA allowances are variable. They pay their max if Natl. Urban CPI exceeds their limit.|
All RPEA Leadership re: Coronavirus:
As of last Friday, March 20, the Governor along with the City of Sacramento declared all non-essential businesses be closed or work from home. Our plan is to staff the office with one person a day to cover each week. They will receive phone calls, mail and deliveries and get checks into the mail (staff members will rotate into the office each day to serve their day). Beyond this, staff members will use a laptop computer at home to perform their normal duties to the greatest extent possible. There will be limitations on what they can do and some disruptions will occur. We must understand that many unanticipated situations will arise and we deal with them as best we can.
Please be patient if your inquiries don’t get handled as fast as they did under normal conditions. Needless to say, only emergency standing/ad hoc committee meetings can be held and they will be video conferenced and/or telephonic until further notice.
Please inform your chapter members as best you can. We will post this on the RPEA Website and place it social media (Facebook).
"Breaking News: Video explains Coronavirus"
Link to Latest CDC information on Coronavirus below:
RPEA Bills in Legislature
“Assemblyman Jim Cooper is carrying two RPEA sponsored bills in the legislature for RPEA. AB2378 would allow CalPERS to add to the existing death benefit an annual increase based on the California Urban Consumer Price Index (CPI). AB3359 would allow the California Urban Consumer Price Index to be used in calculating the annual Cost-0f-Living-Allowance (COLA) most of us see every May - this is a better measure of CPI in California. We will keep you apprised of the progress of these bills. We hope to interject two other matters into the legislative process this year as well. Great thanks to our Legislative Committee and Aaron Read and Pat Moran, our lobbyists, and especially Assemblyman Jim Cooper.”
RPEA fights for the well-being of its members in retirement. How? RPEA retains a professional lobbyist who represents our interest before the Governor, Legislators and CalPERS Board. We also have access to a federal lobbyist who keeps us informed on federal retiree issues. Plus we partner with organizations like Association Member Benefits & Insurance Agency (AMBIA) to provide quality insurance at great group rates.Learn More
Find Your Chapter!
- As informational centers for members to discuss issues affecting their pension and benefits.
- As a place for members to meet together for social and business activities.
- As a direct vital link between local membership and RPEA headquarters.
- To get information on the chapter nearest you, choose the area in which you live. You may also call or email the area director listed for each area.