Inland Empire Retiree Payouts Beat Average State Salary

Retirees with “full-career” status are getting some very healthy checks from CalPERS.

Data released last week reveals that CalPERS payouts to those who worked in Inland Empire cities dwarf the average salaries of current workers. Non-safety public retirees with the 35 years necessary for full-career status received payouts worth 67% more than the average salary. For those public retirees that worked in the safety sector, it gets even better, with 30-year full-career pension payouts weighing in at 124% of average salaries.

Inland Empire pensions also beat the average state pension. Non-safety public retirees in the Inland Empire averaged $73,712, up more than $8,000 from the state average of $65,148. Safety public retirees in the I.E. do even better again, with their $98,888 average crushing the state’s $85,724.

Some of those receiving large pensions include former Victorville City Manager and current Mayor Pro Tem Jim Cox ($189,939.20); Ken Henderson, former Apple Valley assistant town manager of economic and community development ($147,400); former Hesperia Deputy Director of Development Thomas Harp ($102,914.72); and former Adelanto Elementary School District Superintendent Robert Burch ($72,723.12).

So what is the cause of these large pensions?

Transparent California Research Director Robert Fellner laid some blame on changes made to benefit formulas in the late 1990s. These formulas projected “sky-high investment returns” which were not achieved.

Fellner also pointed out the difference in a full-career pension and a partial-career pension, saying full-career pensions are disproportionately greater than the partial counterpart.

More on the large pensions of the Inland Empire can be found here.