By: OC Supervisor Todd Spitzer
The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) Board of Directors unanimously approved a pension reform proposal by Director Todd Spitzer to permit newly-hired OCTA employees aged 60 or older to opt out of a pension. The proposal had its origin in a pension system regulation that was ratified at the urging of then-Supervisor/now-Senator Patricia Bates, who is also a former OCTA Director.
“As far as possible under state law, this item helps move OCTA employees into 401(k)-style retirement plans,” OCTA Director Spitzer said. “Before this proposal was adopted, OCTA employees could not refuse to participate in a pension plan. Now, new OCTA employees who are at least 60 years old will be able to decide on an individual basis whether they wish to be part of a defined benefit pension plan or a 401(k)-style defined contribution plan.”
The proposal is the broadest possible move toward 401(k)-style retirement plans for OCTA employees permitted under California Government Code Section 31552.
“I am grateful to then-Supervisor/now-Senator Bates for her leadership in obtaining ratification of the regulations that paved the way for my proposal,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “I have successfully gained adoption of this proposal at the County, IHSS Public Authority, LAFCO, TCA, and OCTA, and I will continue working toward the passage of this proposal by other government agencies throughout Orange County.”
In November, Bates gained approval of the pension system regulations that permitted a number of public agencies to allow their new employees aged 60 or over to opt out of the pension system. In January, Spitzer successfully urged the adoption of this policy for the County of Orange and for the In-Home Supportive Services Public Authority. In February, the Children and Families Commission unanimously approved this policy for its employees, and Spitzer persuaded LAFCO and TCA to adopt this policy.