Progress Made on Pension Overcharge Issue in BU 16

Last year Union members alerted UAPD that the State has been deducting too much for the employee pension contribution for some State of California BU 16 doctors (who joined CalPERS after January 1, 2013 and are thus subject to a cap on pensionable salary).  You can read the original email to get a full description of the problem.

To resolve the problem, UAPD staffers and a Bargaining Unit 16 physician met with Richard Gillihan, Director of CalHR, who also sits on the CalPERS Board.  UAPD also discussed the problem with the State Controller’s Office, whose office programs payroll deductions and issues state employees’ pay.

As a result of UAPD’s efforts, significant progress has been made on fixing this serious problem.  Since November, hundreds of bargaining unit doctors have received refunds for their over-payments, totaling more than 5 million dollars.  The SCO has agreed to create an automated process to stop salary deductions above the PEPRA cap in the future.  Their plan is to begin work on the project in July 2016 and complete it by July 2017.  The SCO will continue issuing refund checks while the automated system is being built.

However, there are still additional issues that the union is addressing.  The union requires a more transparent accounting of how the refund checks were calculated for each affected member, and needs external verification that all affected members have received refunds.  The union filed a class action grievance over these issues today. We also believe that the State has a responsibility to create the automated system on the tightest possible deadline, which should be shorter than one year.