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Human Resources Department

Deputy Sheriff's Law Enforcement Management Unit (DSLEM)

2018 - 2019 DSLEMMemorandum of Understanding:   Article 26: Retirement

Deputy Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Management

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Read Next: Article 27: Grievance Procedure

26.1 Safety Employees Hired Before January 1, 2013 (3% At 50 Enhanced Safety Retirement Program)

This Section 26.1 (including subsections) shall apply to safety employees hired before January 1, 2013 who are contributing members of the Sonoma County Employees’ Retirement Association (“SCERA”) or who are hired after that date and qualify for pension reciprocity as stated in Government Code Section 7522.02(c) and any related SCERA reciprocity requirements:

26.1.1 Final Compensation Based On Single Year

For purposes of determining a retirement benefit, final compensation for employees covered by this Section 26.1 shall mean the average annual compensation earnable by the member as specified in Government Code Section 31462.1.

26.1.2 3% @ 50 Pension Formula

The 3% at 50 enhanced retirement program will be available to contributing safety members of SCERA covered by this Section 26.1.

26.1.3 Required Employee Contribution

SCERA members covered by this Section 26.1 will contribute the amount required by SCERA as employee contributions, and shall continue to contribute an additional three percent (3%) of any compensation from which retirement deductions are required to be made to their employee retirement account.  The additional contributions shall be deducted from the employees’ compensation pretax and they shall become part of the accumulated retirement contributions of the employees.  This contribution is intended to defray the cost of the unfunded accrued actuarial liability for any past service due to the enhanced retirement programs.  The amortization period for funding the unfunded accrued actuarial liability for any past service due to the enhanced retirement programs described above has been established by SCERA to be twenty (20) years.  The County and DSLEM agree it is their mutual intent that the aforementioned employee contributions described in this subsection continue for the twenty (20) year amortization period which began July 2003 and shall end with the last pay period in June 2023, unless modified by mutual agreement between the County and the DSLEM.

26.1.4 Employee Cost Share – 50% of Normal Cost

  1. Effective the first full pay period following March 14, 2017, each active Safety member of the Sonoma County Employees Retirement Association (SCERA) covered by this Section 26.1 shall contribute one and one half percent (1.5%) of any compensation required to be made to their employee retirement account as a contribution towards one half of the total normal cost (“total normal cost” includes both employer and member shares).  The additional contribution shall be deducted from the employees’ compensation pretax and they shall become part of the accumulated retirement contributions of the employee.  Employees covered by this section 12.4.4.(a) shall receive a lump sum benefit allowance each pay period as a reimbursement for the cost share arrangement, equal to the dollar value of the deduction described in this paragraph less any required taxes.
  2. Effective the first full pay period following March 14, 2017, each active Safety member of the Sonoma County Employees Retirement Association (SCERA) covered by this Section 26.1 shall contribute an additional one and one third percent (1.3%) for a total of 2.8% of any compensation required to be made to their employee retirement account as a contribution towards one half of the total normal cost (“total normal cost” includes both employer and member shares).  The additional contribution shall be deducted from the employees’ compensation pretax and they shall become part of the accumulated retirement contributions of the employee.  Employees covered by this section 12.4.4.(b) shall receive a lump sum benefit allowance each pay period as a reimbursement for the cost share arrangement, equal to the dollar value of the deduction described in this paragraph less any required taxes.
  3. The lump sum benefit allowance described in Sections 26.1.4 (a) and (b) will not be included in wages for computations of overtime, pension benefits or for any County benefit related purpose.  The parties acknowledge that the negotiated cost share arrangement is subject to the approval of the Sonoma County Employees Retirement Association (SCERA) Board. In the event SCERA does not accept the purpose of the lump sum benefit as described herein, or if the SCERA deems the benefit allowance as pensionable compensation, the parties agree to reopen this section of the contract to meet and confer on a replacement pension cost share arrangement.

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26.2 New Retirement Tier For Safety Employees Hired On Or After January 1, 2013

This Section 26.2 (including subsections) applies to safety employees who are contributing members of the SCERA who were hired or on after January 1, 2013 and who do not qualify for pension reciprocity as stated in Government Code Section 7522.02(c).

26.2.1 Final Compensation Based On Three Year Average

As required by Government Code Section 7522.32, effective January 1, 2013, for the purposes of determining a retirement benefit, final compensation shall mean the highest average pensionable compensation earned during 36 consecutive months of service.

26.2.2 2% @ 50 – 2.7% @ 57 Pension Formula

As required by Government Code Section 7522.25, the safety Option Plan Two (2% @ 50 – 2.7% @ 57) pension formula shall apply to employees covered by this Section 26.2 who are contributing members of the SCERA.

26.2.3 Required Employee Contribution

As required by Government Code Section 7522.04(g), SCERA safety members covered by this Section 26.2 shall pay 50 percent (50%) of normal costs. In addition, SCERA members covered by this Section 26.2 shall pay 3.0 percent (3%) of any compensation from which retirement deductions are required to be made to their employee retirement account.  The additional contributions shall be deducted from the employee’s compensation pretax and shall become part of the accumulated retirement contributions of the employees.  This contribution to defray the cost of the unfunded accrued actuarial liability will continue unless modified by a subsequent agreement between the County and DSLEM.  The County and DSLEM agree it is their mutual intent that the aforementioned employee contributions described in this subsection shall cease no later than the end of the twenty (20) year amortization period which began July 2003.

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26.3 Retirement – Credit For Prior Public Service

In addition to any other retirement buyback provision, to the extent allowed by law and applicable SCERA rules, employees who are contributing members of the Sonoma County Employees Retirement Association can purchase retirement credit for public service time rendered prior to employment with the County of Sonoma pursuant to Government Code Sections 31641.1 and 31641.2, during the term of this MOU.

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