What role did the SBCERS pension fund play with the 2011 Santa Barbara County Budget and it’s 72 Million Dollar deficit!

Well I just do not know what to think about our Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors

and how they handled this years 2011/12 County Budget. The budget was extremely difficult since it came with a 72 million dollar deficit, but what would you say if I told you that deficient should have totaled 90.4 million dollars?  The Supervisors do have prior budget deficit experience since in 10/11 that budget also came with a 42 million dollar deficit. That year’s shortfall had been reduced by 21.1 million dollars? So how was it our County Government able to reduce their past two year’s budget deficits by over 39 million dollars? Just think what additional cuts would have had to come had those reductions not been made? Let me share with you how those unseen reductions to the budget deficit came about.

 

In 2008/09 the Santa Barbara County Employee Retirement System experienced significant losses to its investment portfolio. This resulted in an increase to the unfunded liability for the system and its member agencies. In 2009 the Retirement Board reviewed there current policy as well as 4 options developed by its actuary for addressing this liability. At the September 23rd/09 meeting of the SBCERS Retirement Board Option 2 was unanimously passed by both SBCERS staff and the County of Santa Barbara, as the most viable solution to address the SBCERS investment losses. You may review the 4 options that appeared before the board in this report; Item 6E Staff Report @

https://magicinsantabarbara.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/item-6e-staff-report-re-sbcers-investment-losses.pdf

 

Basically what the Retirement Board did was to change policy and lower the payment required by the County against any future unfunded liability to the pension fund. The recent losses were so great that the practice of smoothing investment gains and losses over a 5 year period was not enough.

 

Now for the bad news; because of the actions taken by the Board of Retirement in 2009 Santa Barbara County’s obligation to the pension fund was increased by an additional 1.5 Billion dollars through 2028. So I took the time to create a chart that compares the two policies side by side. The chart will allow you to compare what effect the two policies have on the county contribution rate, unfunded balance and funded ratios. The last column will show the difference in millions between the two policies and how it affects that year’s county budget.

 

If the Retirement Board had not made those policy changes in 2009 the pension was scheduled to overcome the current 676 million unfunded liabilities and be 100% funded by 2028. This would have come at a cost of almost 3.2 Billion dollars in contributions by the county

 

Based on the current Alt 2 option chosen by the Retirement Board in 2009 the pension will only be 85% funded in 2028. The unfunded liability will have grown from its current to 670 million to 878.4 million dollars even after 2.95 Billion in County contributions to the pension fund. I hope you can begin to see why this is so important to us all.

 

Now before I could even publish this posting the current Santa Barbara Grand Jury issued a new report on the pension crisis yesterday. In this report they took the time to show the market value of the current unfunded obligation is actually at 1 billion dollars and not 670 million. We are in serious trouble but I leave you  with this.

 

 

. Since 1988 the SBCERS pension fund has achieved an 8.0 yearly return on investments. The Normal contribution rate since then averaged out to 12.0% and that is rounding up rather heavy. The actual contribution rate paid by this county since 1988 has averaged 17.1 % a full 30% more than required. When you add that according to documents taken from the WALL STREET bond market which shows our  SBCERS pension fund was 100% fully funded  in 1988, THAN HOW CAN WE CURRENTLY  BE UNDERFUNDED AT ALL?

  Employee Contribution Rate (ECR)Comparison

Fiscal Year
Beginning
ECR
2009
Policy
UAAL
2009 Unfunded Balance
Millions
Funded
Ratio
Current 2011 ECR from Alt 2
UAAL
2011 Unfunded Balance
Alt 2
Funded
Ratio
Alt 2
Unseen Savings
to County
Budget
2008
23.06%
244.5
88.7%
23.06%
244.5
88.7%
0
2009
23.30%
588.2
74.2%
23.30%
588.2
74.2%
0
2010
33.23%
606.9
75.0%
29.02%
606.9
75.0%
-21.1 Mil.
2011
34.14%
660.7
74.1%
28.82%
676.2
73.6%
-18.4 Mil
2012
36.00%
819.6
70.1%
29.97%
855.9
68.8%
-22.1Mil
2013
40.50%
910.2
68.7%
33.39%
973.0
66.5%
-27.1 Mil
2014
43.38%
880.0
71.4%
35.18%
976.6
68.3%
-32.5 Mil
2015
43.59%
837.7
74.5%
34.44%
965.4
70.2%
-37.7 Mil
2016
43.54%
771.8
77.5%
33.52%
961.9
72.0%
-43.9 Mil
2017
43.47%
702.5
80.6%
32.64%
954.4
73.6%
-48.2 Mil
2018
42.13%
623.2
83.6%
31.79%
946.4
75.2%
-48 Mil
2019
39.22%
538.3
86.6%
30.97%
938.5
76.5%
-39.8 Mil
2020
35.74%
456.0
89.2%
30.21%
931.8
77.8%
-27.8 Mil
2021
33.83%
380.5
91.4%
29.46%
924.5
79.0%
-22.9 Mil
2022
32.95%
304.8
93.4%
28.76%
917.1
80.1%
-22.7 Mil
2023
32.86%
224.1
95.4%
28.09%
910.6
81.1%
-26.9 Mil
2024
32.88%
133.1
97.4%
27.46%
904.0
82.0%
-28.8 Mil
2025
27.14%
30.1
99.4%
26.86%
897.4
82.9%
-1.6 Mil
2026
22.01%
0
100%
26.28%
890.6
83.6%
+ 27.1 Mil
2027
14.20%
0
100%
25.73%
884.4
84.3%
+ 73.1 Mil
2028
14.20%
0
100%
25.21%
878.4
84.9%
+75.6 Mil
Totals
0
100%
878.4
84.9%
-266.8 Mil

    

Pension Report
updated: Jun 23, 2011, 2:20 PM

Source: Santa Barbara County Civil Grand Jury
The majority of public agencies in Santa Barbara County do not know the status of their long term pension obligations. Because these county agencies use large, multi-employer pension systems, their contributions are pooled and their fund status is not separately reported. These are among the findings of a recent report on post employment benefits from the 2010-11 Santa Barbara County Civil Grand Jury.

 

   

 

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About magicinsantabarbara

Our Santa Barbara Criminal and Civil Superior Courts often abuse’s us with illegal and unjust judgments and convictions. So I investigate, law enforcement, judge’s, elected officials and our California Public Pensions trying to expose the corruption we are being forced to accept. We must always respect and support those who practice the law in an even and ethical manner and demand it from those who do not. Here you can find data for SBCERS, VECRA, LACERA .pensions as well as others.
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