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Helping Citizens Understand

Old Mendocino County Courthouse Around 1915

California County Pension Debt


Mendocino County's Pension Debt

The Pension Debt

Employee & County Pension Related Payments

Mendocino County's Unfunded Pension Debt

Choices -

Growth & Amount of Debt

Pension Related Payments

County Payments

$700 Million to Pay Debt!

Profound Funding Failure


This is a little complicated - but a lot of mis-conceptions develop because of not clearly distinguishing among these various types of payments.

The County of Mendocino makes two kinds of pension-related payments - each of which have two "sub-types" (See How Pensions Are Funded for more explanation of these payments):

  1. Normal Contribution to Pension Fund
    1. County's Share of Normal Contribution
    2. Employees' Share withheld from their paychecks (This is the employees' money - but the County pays the Pension Fund on their behalf.)
  2. Unfunded Pension Debt Payments (remember - if the Pension Fund had achieved its self-proclaimed funding plans these payments wouldn't be necessary)
    1. Unfunded Pension Amortization Payments to Pension Fund
    2. Payments to Pension Bond Holders
There are two other major kinds of payments:

  1. The actual pensions paid by the independent Retirement Association to retirees
  2. The County's payments of salaries and benefits for its employees

This shows these different kinds of payments. We'll look at these a little closer in the next few pages.

Six Kinds of Pension-Related Payments
Total Normal Contribution and Unfunded Pension Payments
Total Pension-Related Payments by County of Mendocino and Its Employees 1993 - 2016 (projected)

This shows the employees' payments of their share of Normal Contribution and the County's share of Normal Contribution plus unfunded pension payments (amortization and bond payments) from 1993 through 2016 (2014 through 2016 based on Actuarial projections).

This graph shows TOTAL DOLLARS paid by the County and its employees. The next graph shows how many dollars the County paid FOR EVERY DOLLAR PAID BY EMPLOYEES.

County Pension-Related Payments Per Dollar Paid by Employees

In 1993 for every dollar its employees paid to the Pension Fund for their future pensions the County paid just slightly more. The County's pension-related payments were only its share of the Normal Contribution.

Today the County pays about $4.50 (its share of the Normal Contribution, Unfunded Pension Amortization payments to the Pension Fund, and payments to Pension Bond holders) for every $1.00 paid by employees.

For Every Dollar Paid by Employees to the Pension Fund How Many Dollars Did the County Pay in All Pension Related Payments 1993 - 2016 (projected)

Major Point!

Two decades ago the County and its employees paid about the same amount each year to fund pensions. Today the County is approaching paying 5 times more than employees pay. The County's pension-related payments have grown three times faster than payments by its employees.

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