Back in 2010, UAPD attorneys helped a retired State doctor file a claim with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) 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 and disappointing 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 CalPERS system for more than two years. Last year the case was heard by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in San Diego. The ruling was overwhelmingly positive. In his decision, the ALJ sided with UAPD, stating 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’s Administrative Procedure Act, the ALJ’s ruling has no effect until the Board of Administration of CalPERS)takes formal action to either adopt it, remand it, or decline to adopt it in favor of its own decision. After postponing consideration of the issue, the CalPERS board remanded the case back to the ALJ for “further evidence.” UAPD continues to fight for the rights of these retirees.