In recent years, the City of Costa Mesa has taken several steps to insure its public employee pension system was sustainable and to address its unfunded pension liabilities of more than $230 million.
The City's Pension Oversight Committee has collected and analyzed a wealth of information on the City's pension plans and their fiscal impacts. You can find that here.
Stanford University's Joe Nation gives his analysis of Costa Mesa's unfunded pension liabilities here. A summary of his findings can be viewed here. And independent actuarial John Bartel analyzes here the fiscal impact of the City moving to a more generous 2.5 @ 55 pension formula for its general employees in 2008.
CalPERS has given a presentation about its pension plans and funding to the Assn. of California Cities-Orange County. You can read it here.
You can view a historical analysis (Fiscal year 2003-04 to 2014-15) of CalPERS rates for Costa Mesa here.
The pension reforms have included:
- an increased pension contributions by City executives and managers;
- a second-tier pension plan for new general employees after 2011;
- a more modest pension plan for firefighters hired after 2012. Instead of a 3% at 50 formula (90% of salary after 30 years of service at age 50 or older), new firefighters will receive 2% at 50 (60% of salary after 30 years of service at age 50 or older).
To address its unfunded pension liabilities, the City hosted a presentation for CalPERS senior actuarial Rick Santos and independent actuarial John Bartel. You can view their presentations here. In the 2012-13 fiscal year, the City for the first time earmarked money ($500,000) to begin paying down the unfunded pension liability.
The City also has an unfunded retirement health care liability of about $36.4 million. You can view a presentation about that liability by Joseph Polley, co-author of the City's Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) report, here. And you can read the latest valuation (June 30, 2012) of the retiree health care plan here.
CalPERS provides the City with annual evaluations of each pension plan. You can find the latest evaluations here.