Board of Retirement General member election winner announced
The Registrar of Voters (ROV) has certified that Kristina Maxwell has been elected to the third seat on the Board of Retirement in the May 2013 active General member election. Maxwell is currently an Administrative Analyst III working for the County’s Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA). This will be her first term with the Board. Maxwell will serve a three-year term beginning July 1, 2013.
Maxwell ran against five other candidates in the May election: Ken Adam, Martin Cherry, William T. Gahan, Ken Jones, and Carlos R. Renstrom. A total of 4,116 ballots were counted and Maxwell received 36% of the votes.
The Registrar of Voters will certify the election results for the General member election on May 24. Voting ended May 21 to elect a candidate for the third seat on the SDCERA Board of Retirement. The elected candidate will serve a three-year term beginning July 1, 2013. Visit the Board of Retirement Responsibilities page to learn more about the role of the Board.
Below is a list of candidates who ran for the third seat in the General member election.
SDCERA 2013 Board of Retirement election candidates General third seat
Ken Adam Health and Human Services
Martin Cherry Health and Human Services
William T. Gahan Superior Court
Ken Jones Treasurer – Tax Collector
Kristina Maxwell Health and Human Services
Carlos R. Renstrom Parks and Recreation
COLA effective with the April benefit payment
The Board of Retirement approved a 1.50% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for retired members at their March 7 meeting. Members who retired on or before March 31, 2013, are eligible for this year’s COLA beginning with the April 30 benefit payment.
The COLA is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the San Diego area, which increased by 1.60% over the previous year. The CPI is rounded to the nearest one-half of one percent, resulting in a 1.50% increase.
The maximum COLA varies by tier—up to 3% for retired Tier I, Tier II and Tier A members, and up to 2% for retired Tier B members. Members with a positive COLA bank are eligible to receive more than 1.50% increase, as outlined below based on a member’s retirement date.
Tier I, Tier II and Tier A members
Retired on or before March 31, 2001
April 1, 2001 - March 31, 2002
April 1, 2002 - March 31, 2011
April 1, 2011 - March 31, 2012
April 1, 2012 - March 31, 2013
Tier B and Tier C members
Retired on or before March 31, 2012
April 1, 2012 - March 31, 2013
SDCERA selects Salient Partners as Portfolio Strategist
SAN DIEGO — The San Diego County Employees Retirement Association (SDCERA) selected Salient Partners as its Portfolio Strategist to oversee the investment portfolio of the $9.12 billion pension fund. Salient Partners was chosen for their alignment and understanding of SDCERA’s investment strategy; their experience in reducing investment risk; track record of strong investment returns; and reducing the overall investment cost structure. SDCERA’s new five-year contract with the 121-person asset management firm starts January 1, 2013.
The Portfolio Strategist manages SDCERA’s $9.12 billion portfolio and recommends investment strategy and policy. Salient Partners will report to SDCERA’s CEO and Board of Retirement. Lee Partridge, Salient Partners’ Chief Investment Officer, will continue as the representative on this contract. Partridge is supported by a team of 63 investment professionals and support staff at Salient who bring their collective expertise to bear in servicing SDCERA’s portfolio.
“Our investment strategy of protecting our assets in down markets, and earning strong returns in up markets helped us weather the volatile markets of the last few years,” said SDCERA CEO Brian White. “Salient Partners is a talented group. They have a proven track record of success and understand our approach to a diversified asset allocation to reach our long-term investment goals. Our fund’s portfolio, currently managed by Salient Partners, has held up well during a difficult economy by reducing risk and producing strong returns.”
How the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act may affect you
Assembly Bill 340, the California Public Employees' Pension Reform Act (PEPRA) of 2013, becomes effective January 1, 2013. SDCERA continues to analyze the legislation to determine the effects on both current and future SDCERA members. PEPRA may impact SDCERA members in the following ways:
Retired members • Benefits are unchanged, including cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs).
• Those interested in returning to work with San Diego County (or a participating employer) in an hourly position must generally wait 180 days after retirement, instead of 90 days.
Active members • Benefit formulas are unchanged.
• The law seeks to prevent pension spiking by further defining what may be included in final average compensation. Generally, the provisions appear to be similar to SDCERA's current practices.
New members as of January 1, 2013 • The law establishes retirement formulas for General members (2.5% at age 67) and Safety members (2.7% at age 57) and uses a three-year final average compensation (FAC) period.
• The law limits compensation that may be included in FAC to base pay set forth in the County's publicly available pay schedules.
• These members will be required to contribute at least half the annual actuarially determined normal cost.
SDCERA SDCERA becomes officially responsible for reviewing compensation to ensure that any compensation that the Board of Retirement has determined to increase a member's retirement benefit is excluded from the pension calculation.
Employer The law also allows the employer, under certain circumstances, to require a higher contribution rate.
More information will be provided as we analyze and implement the legislation. The complete text of AB 340 and AB 197 can be found on the California legislative information website at http://leginfo.ca.gov/.
Pension legislation update
The Public Employees’ Retirement legislation has been signed into law and will become effective January 1, 2013. Most of the provisions affect members hired on or after January 1, 2013. The legislation does not affect current members’ benefit formulas, although it does seek to prevent pension spiking by further defining what may be included in final average compensation. SDCERA is conducting a detailed analysis of the law and its impact on current and new members. That information will be posted on our website as soon as the analysis is complete.