Golden Gate Bridge Panorama

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 05/07/15 – 12:47 PM PDT |

The average pension for a retired San Bernardino County employee who put in 30 or more years was $88,000 in 2014, and three county retirees pull in more than $300,000 a year in benefits, according to Transparent California, a government watchdog organization that tracks salary and other compensation data of public employees.

Transparent California obtained pension data from the San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Association (SBCERA), which also represents employees of state and other local agencies including the South Coast Air Quality Management District, San Bernardino Superior Court, and the California Association of Counties.

In San Bernardino County, three retirees receive pensions topping $300,000 annually. Former County Counsel Ruth Stringer, who retired in 2010 after 33 years working for the county, receives $327,717 annually. Former Sheriff Rod Hoops, who worked 34 years with the county before retiring in 2012, receives a pension of $319,459.68. And former Undersheriff Richard Beemer brings in $301,853.64 annually.

As of 2013, neighboring Riverside County, according to CalPERS data, did not have any retirees with pensions exceeding $300,000, said Robert Fellner, project manager for Transparent California. Furthermore, the average $88,000 pension benefit in San Bernardino County is significantly higher than the $73,700 benefit received by Riverside County employees in 2013, and vastly higher than the $67,026 average of Los Angeles County retirees in 2014, Fellner said.

In Los Angeles County, former undersheriff Larry Waldie received the highest pension in 2014 at $317,582.28, about $10,000 less than what retired San Bernardino County Counsel Ruth Stringer brings home, and Waldie put in 11 more years of service to his county than Stringer did hers, the data shows.

In 2013, Riverside County’s top pensioner was retired CEO David Parrish, who received $248,456.04, followed by retired CEO William Luna at $219,629 and then retired undersheriff Neil Lingle, who received $212,501, according to CalPERS data.

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