Back in 2010, UAPD attorneys helped a retired State doctor file a claim with Cal-PERS seeking to recalculate his pension payment to reflect the bonuses he had earned while working for the Department of Social Services (DSS). For years DSS employees had been making pension contributions on the bonus money they earned, so it was surprising when those bonuses were deemed “non-pensionable” and excluded from the final compensation figure that CalPERS uses to determine pension benefits.
UAPD helped guide the case through the Cal-PERS system for more than two years. Most recently the case was heard by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in San Diego. In his decision, the judge agreed with UAPD that the bonus money fit the definition of “special compensation” and was thus pensionable. He stated that “The productivity bonuses should be included in calculating each of the respondent’s final retirement allowance.”
Though the ALJ ruling is a positive one, there is still one more hurdle to overcome. Under California law, the ALJ’s ruling has no effect until the Board of Administration (Board) of (CalPERS) takes formal action to either adopt it, remand it, or decline to adopt it in favor of its own decision. The ALJ’s ruling was scheduled to be reviewed by the Board during its regular meeting on September 12, 2012 then postponed until October 17th. UAPD will update members about the Board’s response as soon as it is known.