CalPERS Board Designates City of Bell Pension-Spiking Case as Precedential
June 24, 2015
Robert Udall Glazier, Deputy Executive Officer
Brad Pacheco, Chief, Office of Public Affairs
Contact: Joe DeAnda, Information Officer
Case Cuts Pension of Former Bell Police Chief Randy Adams
SACRAMENTO, CA - The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) Board of Administration (Board) has designated as precedential its decision to reduce former City of Bell police chief Randy Adams' requested pension by more than half. The Board has also issued two other decisions cutting the pensions of former officials of the cities of Bell and Vernon.
In the Randy Adams case, the Board had previously decided that because Adams and the City of Bell had effectively hidden his true salary from the public, his pension would be based on his previous salary as the police chief for the City of Glendale ($235,000 per year) rather than his salary at Bell ($457,000 per year). To be the basis for a pension, a public official's salary must be readily available to the public. In Mr. Adams' case, the administrative law judge who decided the case in the first instance held that Bell and Mr. Adams had affirmatively hidden Mr. Adams' compensation from the public.
The Board's decision to designate the Adams' decision as precedential means that it can be officially cited in court, in other administrative proceedings, and may be applied broadly to other cases.
In a separate case involving former Bell City Councilmember George Mirabal, the Board adopted an administrative law judge's decision reducing the "final compensation" that Bell had reported for Mr. Mirabal - and which would have been the basis for computing his pension - from $8,083 per month to $673 per month.
And in a case involving the City of Vernon, the Board adopted an administrative law judge's decision almost halving the requested pension that Robert Toering’s benefits are based on from a final compensation of $20,000 per month to $10,929.25 per month.
Read the full precedential decision agenda item for Randy Adams (PDF), the December 2012 decision of the Board (PDF), the request for public comments (PDF), written comments (PDF), and the staff argument (PDF).
For more than eight decades, CalPERS has built retirement and health security for state, school, and public agency members who invest their lifework in public service. Our pension fund serves more than 1.7 million members in the CalPERS retirement system and administers benefits for 1.4 million members and their families in our health program, making us the largest defined-benefit public pension in the U.S. CalPERS' total fund market value currently stands at approximately $305 billion.