Today, Transparent California posted the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System 2014 pension data. The report showed 809 retirees received payouts of at least $100,000, an 11% increase from the previous year, with 22 retirees receiving payouts of over $500,000.
The top payout went to former Parks & Recreation Deputy Director, Kathleen Hasenauer, who received a $756,204 payout – nearly $650,000 of which came from the controversial deferred retirement option plan (DROP). DROP allows an employee to draw a salary and pension simultaneously for up to 5 years, with each year’s pension being deposited into an interest-bearing account. Upon actual retirement, the accumulated balance can be withdrawn either as a lump-sum payment or rolled over into an annuity.
The next three highest payouts were:
- Marvin Terry, police agent, received $733,319.
- James Filley, police lieutenant, received $680,009.
- William Pepper, fire captain, received $658,629.
While 22 of the top 25 payouts went to police or fire retirees, many regular employees enjoyed six figure payouts too. Four of the largest payouts made to non-safety retirees are below:
- Supervising workers comp claims representative: $434,709
- Land surveying associate: $402,373
- Librarian IV: $396,694
- Grounds Maintenance Manager: $327,917
The average payout for a non-safety retiree with at least 30 years of service was $70,228. For fire retirees with at least 25 years of service it was $97,452 and the average police retiree received $102,752.
Excluding DROP or annuity payouts, the highest annual base pension went to retired assistant city attorney, Eugene Gordon, at $205,653 a year.
The City discontinued the DROP program for new hires as of 2006, but a 2011 city-commissioned study estimated the total cost of the program at approximately $149 million, with the City’s former actuary estimating the cost at $192 million.
To see the full list of 2014 San Diego City pension payouts click here.