Friday, May 15, 2015

Song Book for the Regents?

There is that expression "railroading" as in railroading something through a decision-making body. According to the Regents agenda for the meeting on May 21, the Regents will be asked to approve the deal announced yesterday with the governor including the pension arrangements. If that occurs, there will be zero opportunity for any meaningful review. For the pension, there are more details now in the online Regents agenda. There is more than just some general principles being put forward. In fact, there is a whole plan whereby new hires will be offered either a hybrid defined benefit/defined contribution combo or a defined contribution-only plan. If the Regents approve that feature along with the rest of the plan on May 21, to continue the railroad metaphor, the train will have left the station despite the language about subsequent consultation.

Below is the agenda item regarding the pension. The full item including all features of the deal is at:
May 21, 2015
Shared commitment to addressing UC’s long-term pension liability. The Governor has agreed, subject to the Legislature’s approval, to provide a total of $436 million in one-time funding over three years, beginning with $96 million in 2015-16, to address a portion of UC’s pension obligations. This funding will be provided from Proposition 2 debt funds, which cannot be used for University operating costs or to pay the current costs of the University’s pension contributions. In return, the University has agreed to bring to the Regents by July 1, 2016 a new pension tier which would provide, at the employee’s election, either a defined benefit plan that caps the amount of salary used to calculate benefits at a level consistent with the State’s 2012 pension reform law (currently $117,020) plus a supplemental defined contribution (DC) plan for certain employees, or an optional fully DC plan. The specific terms of new plans will be developed in consultation with UC faculty and staff. The restructured pension plan, the final form of which will be subject to Regental approval, will not apply to current employees. For represented employees, it will be subject to collective bargaining.

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