California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

Useful information for navigating legal challenges

Category Archives: Retirement

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Affordable Care Act Limitations When Hiring a Retired Annuitant – A Potential Catch 22

Posted in Healthcare, Retirement
This post was authored by Heather DeBlanc Under the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) large employer shared responsibility provisions, employers are required to offer minimum essential coverage that is both affordable and provides minimum value to substantially all full-time employees and their dependents, or face potential penalties.  However, the California laws governing retired annuitants prohibit employers… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Holds: There is No Presumption That Retiree Medical Benefits Are Vested

Posted in Pension, Retirement
On Monday, a unanimous United States Supreme Court, in a harshly critical opinion, overruled a decision of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that had in essence created a presumption that retiree medical benefits provided for in a collective bargaining agreement are per se vested, unless it can be proven by extrinsic evidence otherwise.  In… Continue Reading

With Labor Negotiations Approaching, is Your Agency Ready for a CalPERS Audit?

Posted in Retirement
This blog post was authored by Michael Youril The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (“CalPERS”) substantially increased the number of public agency audits it conducted last year.  As discussed in our previous post, the audit process can be long, complex, and time-consuming.  An audit can also result in significant liability or administrative headache for an… Continue Reading

Some Relief for CalPERS Employers Faced With Arrears or Payroll Adjustments

Posted in Retirement
 This blog post was authored by Steven M. Berliner We have discussed in prior blog posts that more and more agencies are being audited by CalPERS.  The auditors may find that compensation was not reported correctly or that individuals (such as certain part-time employees or consultants/independent contractors) who were not enrolled as members should have… Continue Reading

Is Bankruptcy the Way Out of Pension Obligations?

Posted in Pension, Retirement
This blog post was authored by Paul D. Knothe We are all aware of the ongoing discussion over the rising cost of public pension benefits and whether they are sustainable in the long run. However, one unanswered question was lurking in the background: Is Chapter 9 bankruptcy a way for struggling municipalities to shed these… Continue Reading

Part-Time Employee Traps For CalPERS Employers

Posted in Retirement
This blog post was authored by Steven M. Berliner Given all the recent public employee pension reform changes to absorb, it is not surprising that part-time employees of CalPERS contracting agencies have received little attention.  After all, part-time employees are excluded from CalPERS membership, right?  While that might be the general rule, the exceptions practically… Continue Reading

Retired Employees Not Likely To Trigger Affordable Care Act Penalties As Long As The Employer Adopts The Look Back Measurement Method Safe Harbor

Posted in Retirement
This blog post was authored by Heather DeBlanc As employers begin to prepare for the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) Employer Mandate scheduled to take effect January 1, 2015, two main questions arise relating to retired employees who return to work: Can retired employees subject the employer to a penalty? – Yes! Should employers offer health… Continue Reading

CalPERS Audits – What Agencies Can Do to Prepare

Posted in Retirement
CalPERS employers by now are well aware of the major changes in the Public Employees’ Retirement Law.  On the heels of these changes and into the horizon, we have seen continuing efforts by CalPERS to audit contracting agencies. Is Your Agency Ready? If you’ve been following our blog, you know that this area of law… Continue Reading

AB 1469’s Newly Enacted Fix For CalSTRS Unfunded Liability Means Increased Contribution Rates for Employers, Employees, and the State

Posted in Education, Legislation, Retirement
This blog post is authored by Michael Youril Every employer who has employees covered by the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (“CalSTRS”) is aware of the massive funding gap for the CalSTRS pension fund, and the need to stabilize funding for CalSTRS before the pension fund goes broke.  At this time, the CalSTRS Defined Benefit… Continue Reading

CalPERS Audits: What Should a Public Agency Expect?

Posted in Retirement
This blog post was authored by Oliver Yee It is a common phrase that most in the public sector have heard of – a “PERS audit.”  However, despite having heard of CalPERS (“PERS”) audits occurring, many have not experienced an audit firsthand and are unfamiliar with what PERS audits entail. CalPERS’ Office of Audit Services… Continue Reading

Due Process and Disability: What Due Process Must Be Provided to Disabled Employees

Posted in Retirement
This blog post was authored by Connie Almond More than 2/3 of the discrimination claims filed in California allege disability as the protected category at issue.  California’s complex disability laws are compounded for public agencies by constitutional due process requirements and PERS and ’37 Act requirements which are triggered when the public agency is contemplating… Continue Reading

Court Rules That ‘37 Act Employers Retain The Right To Discontinue Paying Employee Member Contributions After PEPRA

Posted in Retirement
An employer subject to the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 (“’37 Act”) maintains the unilateral right to discontinue picking-up the member contributions of its employees after exhausting all collective bargaining obligations.  This was the decision of the San Bernardino County Superior Court on April 11, 2014 in denying a Petition for Writ of Mandate… Continue Reading

“But Our Agreement Says They Are An Independent Contractor!” – Navigating “Employee” and “Independent Contractor” Determinations Under the Public Employees’ Retirement Law

Posted in Retirement
This blog post was authored by Michael Youril If your agency is a contracting agency with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), chances are you have heard about the important distinctions between an “employee” and an “independent contractor” under the Public Employees’ Retirement Law (PERL).  Whether an individual is an “employee” or an “independent… Continue Reading

A Reminder Of How The Courts Analyze Industrial Disability Applications: Beckley v. CalPERS

Posted in Disability, Retirement
This blog post was authored by Charla Welch Retirement for disability can be an involved, complex, and confusing process. This is especially true where the employee at issue is a local safety member.  Public agencies often ask for our counsel when an application for industrial disability retirement (IDR) is filed.  In a new case, the California… Continue Reading

CalPERS Issues Circular Letter and Employer Checklist for Hiring CalPERS Retirees

Posted in Retirement
This blog post was authored by Randy Parent CalPERS issued Circular Letter No. 200-002-14 on January 14, 2014, providing an overview of the law that applies to CalPERS retired annuitants of all CalPERS employers.  To provide further assistance in navigating this complex topic, CalPERS has provided a Checklist for Hiring CalPERS Retirees to assist public… Continue Reading

The Moving Target: Can PERS Retirees Still Work As “Independent Contractors”?

Posted in Retirement
This blog post was authored by Connie C. Almond Tracking the latest celebrity marriage can be easier than keeping up with the ever changing restrictions on post-retirement work.  As we have previously written about at length, the Legislature has passed numerous bills in the last two years changing the limitations on post-retirement work for PERS… Continue Reading

Governor Signs SB 13, PEPRA Clean-Up Legislation, and AB 1222, Regarding Transit District Workers

Posted in Retirement
This blog post was authored by Alison Neufeld. Since the enactment of the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA), public agencies have awaited clean-up legislation addressing numerous drafting errors and ambiguities.  On October 4, 2013, Governor Brown signed SB 13. Among other things, SB 13 establishes the following: Initial contribution rate for… Continue Reading

IRS Releases Guidance on Delayed Employer Mandate

Posted in Healthcare, Retirement
This blog post was authored by Heather DeBlanc As LCW previously reported, the Department of Treasury recently announced that it will delay enforcement of the reporting and employer shared responsibility provision of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) until 2015.  On July 9, 2013, the IRS published Notice 2013-45, officially confirming the delay.  (See http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-13-45.PDF.) Effective… Continue Reading

Employers with Self-Insured Plans – Prepare to Pay PCOR Fees by July 31, 2013

Posted in Healthcare, Retirement
This blog post was authored by Heather DeBlanc The Affordable Care Act implemented a new fee called the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund, or “PCOR” fee.  For the most part, health insurance issuers, rather than employers, are responsible for paying the PCOR fee.  However, the fee also applies to self-insured plan sponsors and must be… Continue Reading

Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions Delayed Until 2015

Posted in Healthcare, Retirement
This blog post was authored by Heather DeBlanc The Department of Treasury announced on July 2, 2013, that it will delay the effective date of the employer shared responsibility provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act until 2015.  These provisions, which expose a large employer to penalties for failing to offer affordable coverage… Continue Reading