The county board already favors contributing to their own pensions to save $14 million over 3 years

BY DUANE W. GANG
STAFF WRITER
dgang@pe.com

Published: 13 November 2011 08:20 PM

Riverside County supervisors Tuesday will take up a measure requiring all county elected officials and management to pay their own retirement contributions.

Supervisors earlier this month voted in favor of the concept but had yet to work out the details.

The plan before supervisors Tuesday outlines changes that would be phased in over the next two to three years. It will apply to all county elected officials, management and other employees not represented by a union.

Requiring those officials and workers to pay their own retirement is expected to save the county at least $2.25 million this year, $6.77 million in fiscal 2012-13 and $5.22 million annually in future years, according to the proposal.

Currently, general county workers — including supervisors — pay 8 percent of their salary toward retirement for the first five years of employment. After that, the county covers both the employee and employer retirement contributions. Public-safety employees pay 9 percent for the first three years of employment.

Under the county’s plan, elected officials and top management who have been there longer than five years would pay 4 percent of their salary toward retirement starting Dec. 1 and an additional 4 percent in June, bringing it to 8 percent.

For other workers, the county’s human resources director is recommending that supervisors consider a three-year period to phase in the 8 percent employee retirement contributions, since those employees are paid less than management and are in jobs equivalent to those represented by unions. These employees would pay 3 percent this year, 6 percent next year and the full 8 percent in 2013.

The plan also would provide for new step pay increases of 2.71 percent “in recognition of the hardship caused” by requiring employees to pay more toward their own retirement, according to the proposal.

With the pay increases accounted for, county officials say the plan would save a combined $14 million over the next three years.

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