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Sonoma County Law Enforcement Managers Association (SCLEMA)

2018 - 2019 SCLEMAMemorandum of Understanding: Article 26: Retirement

Sonoma County Law Enforcement Management Association

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Read Next: Article 27: Grievance Procedure

26.1 Retirement – Safety Employees Hired On Or After January 1, 2013

This Section 26.1 (including Sub-Sections) shall apply to employees hired on or after January 1, 2013, who are or become contributing members of the Sonoma County Employees’ Retirement Association (“SCERA”) and who do not qualify for pension reciprocity as stated in Government Code Section 7522.02 (c).

26.1.1 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 for SCERA members covered by this Section 26.1, final compensation shall mean the highest average annual pensionable compensation earned during 36 consecutive months of service.

26.1.2 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 be available to employees covered by this Section 26.1 who are contributing members of the SCERA.

26.1.3 Required Employee Contributions

As required by Government Code section 7522.04(g), SCERA members covered by this Section 26.1 shall pay 50 percent of normal costs. In addition, SCERA members covered by this Section 26.1 shall pay 3.00% of the employee’s pensionable compensation toward the County’s employer contribution to retirement costs. This additional 3.00% contribution shall continue until July 2024.

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26.2 Retirement – Safety Employees Hired On Or Before December 31, 2012

This Section 26.2 (including Sub-Sections) shall apply to employees hired on or before December 31, 2012 who are contributing members of the SCERA, or who are hired after that date and qualified for pension reciprocity as stated in Government Code Section 7522.02 (c) and any related SCERA reciprocity requirements.

26.2.1 Final Compensation Based On Single Year 

For purposes of determining a retirement benefit, final compensation for employees covered by this Section 26.2 shall mean the average annual compensation earnable by the member as specified in Government Code Section 31462.1.

26.2.2 3.0% @ 50 Pension Formula

The 3.0% at 50 pension formula shall be available to employees covered by this Section 26.2 who are contributing members of the SCERA.

26.2.3 Required Employee Contribution

SCERA members covered by this Section 26.2 will contribute the amount required by SCERA as employee contributions, and shall continue to pay an additional 3.00% of pay, pretax, to their employee retirement account. This 3.00% of pay contribution of the employee’s pensionable compensation shall be paid as part of the County’s contribution to pay for the unfunded accrued actuarial liability. This additional 3.00% contribution will continue until July 2024.

26.2.4 Employee Cost Share – 50% of Normal Cost

  1. Effective the first full pay period following July 1, 2016, each active Safety member of the Sonoma County Employees Retirement Association (SCERA) covered by this Section 26.2 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 26.2.4.(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 July 1, 2017, each active Safety member of the Sonoma County Employees Retirement Association (SCERA) covered by this Section 26.2 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 26.2.4.(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 26.2.4 (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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26.3 Retirement – General Employees Hired On Or After January 1, 2013

This Section 26.3 (including Sub-Sections) shall apply to employees hired on or after January 1, 2013, who are or become contributing members of the Sonoma County Employees’ Retirement Association (“SCERA”) and who do not qualify for pension reciprocity as stated in Government Code Section 7522.02 (c).

26.3.1 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 for SCERA members covered by this Section 26.3, final compensation shall mean the highest average annual pensionable compensation earned during 36 consecutive months of service.

26.3.2 2.0% @ 62 Pension Formula

As required by Government Code Section 7522.20, the 2.0% at 62 pension formula shall be available to employees covered by this Section 26.3 who are contributing members of the SCERA.

26.3.3 Required Employee Contributions

As required by Government Code Section 7522.30(c), SCERA members covered by this Section 26.3 shall pay 50 percent of normal costs. In addition, SCERA members covered by this Section 26.3 shall pay 3.03 percent of the employee’s pensionable compensation toward the County’s employer contribution to retirement costs. This additional 3.03% contribution shall continue until July 2024.

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26.4 Retirement – General Employees Hired On Or Before December 31, 2012.

This Section 26.4 (including Sub-Sections) shall apply to employees hired on or before December 31, 2012 who are contributing members of the SCERA, or who are hired after that date and qualified for pension reciprocity pursuant to Government Code Section 7522.02 (c) and any related SCERA reciprocity requirements.

26.4.1 Final Compensation Based On Single Year

For purposes of determining a retirement benefit, final compensation for employees covered by this Section 26.4 shall mean the average annual compensation earnable by the member as specified in Government Code Section 31462.1.

26.4.2 3.0% @ 60 Pension Formula

The 3.0% at 60 pension formula (CERL 31676.17) shall be available to employees covered by this Section 26.4 who are contributing members of the SCERA.

26.4.3 Required Employee Contribution

SCERA members covered by this Section 26.4 will contribute the amount required by SCERA as employee contributions, and shall continue to pay an additional 3.03% of pay, pretax, to their employee retirement account. This 3.03% of pay contribution of the employee’s pensionable compensation shall be paid as part of the County’s contribution to pay for the unfunded accrued actuarial liability. This additional 3.03% contribution will continue until July 2024.

26.4.4 Employee Cost Share – 50% of Normal Cost

  1. Effective the first full pay period following July 1, 2016, and subject to Sonoma County Employees Retirement Association (SCERA) Board approval of the cost share arrangement under the terms described herein, active County General legacy members of SCERA will contribute one third of the actuarially determined difference between the average General legacy employee retirement rate (exclusive of the 3.03% payroll contribution toward the UAAL described in Section 26.4.3 of the MOU) and one half the total normal cost (“total normal cost” includes both employer and member shares) calculated as an average for General legacy members of the Sonoma County Employees Retirement Association (SCERA) covered by this Section 26.4 based on rates of all active County General legacy members, with the difference computed to a factor and applied equally to all legacy members. Such legacy employees will receive a lump sum benefit allowance as reimbursement for this pension cost share arrangement each pay period equal to the dollar value of the deduction described in this paragraph, less any required taxes.
  2. Effective the first full pay period following July 1, 2017, and subject to Sonoma County Employees Retirement Association (SCERA) Board approval of the cost share arrangement under the terms described herein, active County General legacy members of SCERA will contribute an additional one third (for a total of two thirds) of the actuarially determined difference between the average General legacy employee retirement rate (exclusive of the 3.03% payroll contribution toward the UAAL described in Section 26.4.3 of the MOU) and one half the total normal cost (“total normal cost” includes both employer and member shares) calculated as an average for General legacy Members of the Sonoma County Employees Retirement Association (SCERA) covered by this Section 26.4 based on rates of all active County General legacy members, with the difference computed to a factor and applied equally to all legacy members. Such legacy employees will receive a lump sum benefit allowance as reimbursement for this pension cost share arrangement each pay period 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 26.4.4 (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, if SCERA deems the benefit allowance as pensionable compensation, or if the pension reimbursement is determined to be taxable beyond FICA and Medicare taxation, the parties agree that this provision shall cease to be implemented and the parties will reopen this Section of the contract to meet and confer on a replacement pension cost share arrangement, subject to mutual agreement of the parties.

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26.5 Employer Pick-Up of Employee’s Share of Retirement Contribution – Not Allowed

Pursuant to the Public Employees Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA), the County shall not contribute towards any employee’s share of retirement contributions.

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26.6 Retirement – Credit for Prior Public Service

In addition to any other retirement buy-back provision, 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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26.7

All employees who belong to the retirement system shall have their wages adjusted according to Section 414(h)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, which has the effect of deferring Federal and State income taxes on the employee’s retirement contributions.

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