There are many reasons the city of Pleasanton — along with scores of other public employers throughout California, including the Pleasanton Unified School District — are staring down higher retiree costs.
The four primary causes, according to Bartel, are CalPERS investment losses during and after the recession, enhanced retirement benefits given to employees, CalPERS’ contribution policy and demographic shifts.
Of particular note for Pleasanton is the shrinking ratio of active employees versus retirees, John Bartel of actuarial consultant firm Bartel Associates told the council.
Last year, there were more retirees receiving pension payments (621) than active city employees contributing to the fund (502), a ratio of 0.8. Those totals shifted drastically compared to just two decades earlier, when the city had almost four times as many active employees as retirees, he said.