Ken Mandler had a large calculation problem in his article (Capitol Weekly,
Nov. 24). Three out of four employees leave PERS prior to retirement, but
that is different than saying 75 percent of current employees leave PERS
prior to retirement.
If each employee who leave prior to retirement works an average of five
years and the fourth employee who stays averages 30 years, then together the
three who leave contribute only half as much as the one who stays (5 X 3=15
v. 30). So, instead of 68 percent total state contribution (4 X 17 percent),
it is closer to 25.5 percent (17percent plus 8.5 percent (15/30 X 17
Also, lawyers do not have their own contribution rate so unless every
bargaining unit gets this deal, the 17 percent rate may not increase at all.
However, his basic idea of how the system works certainly seems to be
correct. It is just his numbers are off.
Bob Bernstein, Sacramento