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Pension Reform

Reducing Sonoma County’s pension system costs is an ongoing and top priority of the Board of Supervisors as the County strives to ensure a fair, equitable, and sustainable pension system for taxpayer and employee alike. The Board has approved three over-arching policy goals for pension reform: (1) contain costs; (2) maintain labor market competitiveness and workforce stability; and (3) improve accountability and transparency. 

Want to learn more about Pensions? Read more here (PDF: 663 kB)

Appointments to the Independent Citizens Pension Committee

Board of Supervisors Agenda Item for September 12, 2017

This item requests Board of Supervisors (“Board”) approval to appoint seven members of the public to the new, ongoing Independent Citizens Pension Committee (“Committee”). The Board has adopted Pension Reform as one of its key priorities, with a goal of ensuring a fair, equitable, and sustainable pension system for taxpayers and employees alike. In April 2017, the Board created the new Committee to represent the best interests of the entire community in a non-partisan manner, and to help improve communication between the County and local residents on pension issues.

Board of Supervisors Agenda Item Summary Report (PDF: 193 kB)

Summary of Selected Applicants (PDF: 94.7kB)

Relevant Board of Supervisors Reports

The following reports were presented at Board of Supervisors Meetings:

April 25, 2017, Item #40

This item requested approval of the charter and scope for the Board’s 2016-17 Pension Ad Hoc Committee, which included: (1) a pension reform work plan; (2) recommendations for paying unfunded liability costs and improving equity; (3) a feasibility analysis for implementing a hybrid retirement plan with defined-benefit and defined-contribution components; (4) a communications program for pension matters, including improved reporting to enhance transparency; (5) new or revised cost containment measures; and (6) an approved charter for a new citizens committee.  With respect to this last item, this report also requested Board approval to establish a new, ongoing Independent Citizens Pension Committee.  The recommended scope for the committee is intended to improve accountability and transparency of the County’s pension reporting, and provide a way for the County to engage citizens in the process of developing and refining the County’s pension reform strategies.

April 25, 2017, Agenda Item #40 Summary Report (PDF: 821 kB)

July 12, 2016, Item #32

This item presented the final report of the Independent Citizens Advisory Committee on Pension Matters, which addressed three specific areas: 1) evaluating the County’s progress towards achieving its stated pension reform goals; 2) developing a brief summary of the County’s pension system and the roles and responsibilities of governing bodies; and 3) developing and proposing additional pension reform recommendations for the Board’s consideration. 

July 12, 2016, Agenda Item #32 Summary Report (PDF: 142 kB)

July 12, 2016, Agenda Item #32 Report (PDF: 4.92 MB)

July 12, 2016, Agenda Item #32 PowerPoint Presentation (PDF: 3.16 MB)

June 13, 2016, Item #50

This item provided an update on three main topics related to the Sonoma County Employees’ Retirement Association retirement system for FY 2016-17: employer and employee retirement contribution rates; Pension Obligation Bond payroll rates; and summarization of key points from the most recent 2015 actuarial valuation and review of the retirement fund.

June 13, 2016, Agenda Item #50 Summary Report (PDF: 191 kB)

June 13, 2016, Agenda Item #50 PowerPoint Presentation #1 (PDF: 325 kB)

June 13, 2016, Agenda Item #50 PowerPoint Presentation #2 (PDF: 201 kB)

June 13, 2016, Agenda Item #50 Actuarial Valuation (PDF: 757 kB)

June 13, 2016, Budget Hearings Materials Binder, Section 7

This report covered several elements called for in the Board’s Pension Reform efforts, including: a detailed presentation on the status of the retirement system as a part of the annual contribution rate setting process; updated cost containment projections and funded ratio calculations; and FY 2015-16 pension reform accomplishments.

June 13, 2016, Budget Hearings Materials Binder Item (whole binder) (PDF: 13.4 MB)

September 22, 2015, Item #30

This item approved appointments of seven members of the public to the Independent Citizens Advisory Committee on Pension Matters.

September 22, 2015, Agenda Item #30 Summary Report (PDF: 132 kB)

April 21, 2015, Item #33

The Board of Supervisors created the Independent Citizens Advisory Committee on Pension Matters for the purpose of reviewing and evaluating the County’s pension reform efforts to date.  The committee was charged with producing a written report deliverable addressing three specific areas: 1) evaluating the County’s progress towards achieving its stated pension reform goals; 2) developing a brief summary of the County’s pension system and the roles and responsibilities of governing bodies; and 3) proposing additional pension reform recommendations for the Board’s consideration. 

April 21, 2015, Agenda Item #33 Summary Report (PDF: 133 kB)

January 27, 2015, Item #30

This item provided an update on the County’s pension reform efforts initiated by the Board of Supervisors in late 2011.  This report communicated the significant progress made to date, and requested approval to modify FY 2015-16 pension contribution rates to allow for making a $3.5 million advanced payment towards the County’s unfunded pension liabilities above and beyond regular annual payments.

January 27, 2015, Agenda Item #30 Summary Report (PDF: 136 kB)

November 8, 2011, Item #23

This item presented the final report of the Board’s 2011 Pension Ad Hoc Committee.  The report requested that the Board adopt three over-arching policy goals for pension reform: (1) contain costs; (2) maintain labor market competitiveness and workforce stability; and (3) improve accountability and transparency.  

November 8, 2011, Agenda Item #23 Summary Report (PDF: 94 kB)

Contact Information

Contact us by Phone
Address
575 Administration Drive
Suite 104A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.464665, -122.725235

What do you know about Pensions?

Download the Pension Fact Sheet

Pensions Fact Sheet Cover

Read our 2-page Pension Fact Sheet (PDF: 663 kB)

Links to Pension Resources

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