The Ventura County Employees’ Retirement Association (VCERA) board voted 6-2 on Nov. 18, 2014 to allow pensionable compensation to be calculated based on a worker’s monthly pay. Having pension pay based on monthly pay seems like an obvious path but the County of Ventura has a differing position, arguing for base pay only in seeking a super narrow view of what should count towards a pension.
“Many of our Members, your Members, have earned special certifications and licenses in order to better serve Ventura County and its residents. On their behalf, I urge your Board to conclusively determine that pensionable compensation is defined as the normal monthly rate of pay and includes as pensionable compensation those pay items that recognize special skills or special work assignments.”-SEIU Local 721 Tri-Counties Regional Director Joe Kahraman at the VCERA board meeting.
“This VCERA vote is an important win because our members will have their full monthly pay counted as pensionable and they will not be financially harmed by having to back contribute for any items,” says Kahraman.
The two dissenting votes came from VCERA board members William Wilson (Vice Chairman) and Ventura County Board of Supervisor Peter Foy. Both of these board members also supported this year’s ballot measure that aimed to eventually phase out VCERA. The ballot measure was found to be illegal by the Ventura County Superior Courts and was stricken from the November ballot.
This favorable vote is an important win for workers and our community but we have to be ready to continue the fight for a secure retirement for all.