By: OC Supervisor Pat Bates
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the Orange County Employees Retirement System (OCERS) Board of Retirement (Board)Waiver of Membership regulation to assist the County and plan sponsors in hiring an employee over the age of sixty who wanted to waive membership in OCERS.
The OCERS Board approved the waiver in 2006 and Government Code Section 31525 required the Board of Supervisors to approve any OCERS regulation before the regulation is effective. If the County permits newly hired County employees who have attained the age of sixty at the time of hire to waive OCERS’ membership it will not be required to enroll these employees in Social Security. State and local governmental entities are exempt from providing Social Security coverage if their employees are covered by a retirement system maintained by the state or local governmental entity that provides minimum benefits or contributions that are comparable to the benefits the participants would have received under Social Security. County employees who waive membership under the OCERS’ Waiver of Membership regulation may be permitted to enroll in similar defined contribution programs.
I brought this item to my colleagues for two reasons. Number one it will provide a potential employee (age 60 and above) who already receives a public employee pension the option to waive participation in the County pension plan thereby avoiding the “double dipper” issue. The second reason is it addresses the unfunded liability into the future by not adding new pensioners into our system.
Currently, of the twenty retirement systems in California operating under the 1937 County Employees’ Retirement Law, fourteen have adopted such waiver of membership regulations.
I thank my colleagues for supporting this item. To read the full report please click here.