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Santa Ana has $461M in unfunded public employee pension liabilities

Published on July 7, 2014 by in Labor, Santa Ana
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Pension Tsunami

The Orange County Grand Jury has issued a new report on “Orange County City Pension Liabilities” and it turns out that the City of Santa Ana is very much in the hole.

Santa Ana has accrued $886M in public safety pensions and another $670M in other labor pensions.    The bad news is that Santa Ana only has $639M in market value assets to pay off the public safety pensions (for retired firemen and police officers).  Cops and firemen can retire at 55, and do so with huge pensions that can be in the six figures.

Santa Ana has only $456M to pay off their other public employee pensions, which comes to a 68% funded ratio.

Now you know why are police department is so under-staffed.  We are spending a fortune paying off retired cops.  Click here to see for yourself.  A cop with 20 years in the field can retire at 55 with a pension equal to 60% of his annual paycheck.  That is a lot more than you and I will get under Social Security.

This is also why we outsourced our fire department to the Orange County Fire Authority.

There is no telling how much money the City will need to set aside for lifetime healthcare benefits for retired cops, firefighters and other city workers.  That amount could be hundreds of millions as well.  Consider that cops, on average, live to the ripe old age of 85.

At this point the City Council really has no choice but to consider outsourcing the SAPD to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.  But the Santa Ana police union has been donating vast amounts of campaign money to the Santa Ana City Council.  They are bought and paid for and I doubt they will even consider outsourcing our police.  Instead you can bet that they will find ways to raise our fees and taxes.

In fact the City Council has put a measure on the November General Election ballot asking us to raise our telecommunications tax!  This is just the first attempt by this bunch to make us pay for the irresponsible pensions and benefits they have agreed to over the years.  Don’t be fooled!  The City Council created this mess and they need to fix it without screwing us further in the process.

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8 Comments  comments 

8 Responses

  1. Guadalupe

    Funny, the sapd hasnt received a pay raise in 7 years (they agreed to help the city) andnthey just signed a 2 year contract with no raises. They are also paying the max amount for their retirement (unlike many other agencies). Most cops dont retire at age 50/55 because they dont get hire at age 21. Most officers get hired in their late 20s. Why an early retirement age? Because they dont work at an office or at a Walmart. They chase people with guns, fight crazy people, and by their mid 40s they have knee, back and neck problems. You try to to do the job in your 50s see how you do. Maybe some of you who critisize the pay and benefits should join and go through a police academy…..Not their fault they became cops and were offer what they got……sapd is under staff because of the sanctuary city council pocketing city money, andnto build stupid projects like that “trolley”for downtown.

  2. Anonymous


    I agree with YOU!!

  3. carpetbagger

    You are slow Admin. Cavasos got a plan: TAX FOOD and CELL PHONES.

    TAX THE POOR, they don’t know any better, just like he did in PHX.

    • Yes indeed. And we’ll have to raise taxes to pay for his enormous salary!

      • If you recall Editor, I have asked you to give me a connection in the City Government to offer my services to reduce this structural deficit.

        An you did!

        Unfortunately there is no interest from the higher ups from your well positioned recommendation.

        So until that changes the city is doomed.

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