Posts Tagged: bankruptcy
State Sen. Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, who represents the 10th Senate District.(Senate photo)
State Sen. Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, is more than just the senator representing California’s 10th Senate District. He’s also a bankruptcy lawyer, giving him an unusual insight into Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s recent bankruptcy declaration.
An elderly couple in front of their home. (Photo: Andy Dean, via Shutterstock)
OPINION: By 2030, California’s over-65 population is expected to be 87 percent higher than it was in 2012 – an increase of more than four million people. According to a 2014 AARP survey, nearly 90 percent of senior households say they would like to stay in their current residences and communities for as long as possible.
San Bernardino police officers, members of the SWAT team. (Photo: Juno Kughler Carlson, omnitrans.org) omnitrans.org
San Bernardino’s plan to exit bankruptcy, possibly next year, cuts the pensions of 23 retired police officers who receive an unusual supplement to their regular CalPERS pension. The supplement boosts pensions to the same amount now common among police and firefighters, a standard set by the Highway Patrol in a CalPERS-sponsored bill, SB 400 in 1999.
San Bernardino firefighters on the front lines. (Photo: Sheri Armstrong)
Bankrupt San Bernardino’s plan to cut costs by contracting for firefighter and other services has been aided by legislation and a court ruling. But a shortage of firefighters is causing a rough transition. A second fire station was closed earlier this month and others were hit with temporary “brownout” closures, delaying response times. New hires for 14 firefighter vacancies are not expected to complete training until next month.
A pension reform initiative filed last week requires voter approval of termination fees, the big upfront payment demanded by CalPERS when a plan is closed to new members. CalPERS says it needs the money to ensure payment of the pensions promised members who remain in the closed plan. The termination fee is calculated by dropping the pension fund earnings forecast from the current 7.5 percent to as low as 2.98 percent.
On the outskirts of San Bernardino. (Photo: Steve Heap)
A San Bernardino plan to exit bankruptcy follows the path of the Vallejo and Stockton exit plans, cutting bond debt and retiree health care but not pensions. Then it veers off in a new direction: contracting for fire, waste management and other services. The contract services are expected to reduce city pension costs. Other pension savings come from a sharp increase in employee payments toward pensions and from a payment of only 1 percent on a $50 million bond issued in 2005 to cover pensions costs.
A seal of the city of Stockton, Calf. (Photo: Astudio, via Shutterstock)
On the day that Stockton emerged from bankruptcy last week, ending 32 months of debt protection, the final court argument was about the “cram down” imposed on the only creditor that did not cut a deal.
Calpensions: A federal judge, who earlier ruled CalPERS pension contracts can be overturned in bankruptcy, yesterday outlined the difficulty of cutting pensions while approving Stockton’s plan to exit bankruptcy with pensions intact.
A view of downtown Stockton. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Calpensions: A federal judge ruled last week that Stockton’s CalPERS pensions can be cut in bankruptcy. But Stockton does not want to cut pensions, and the lone holdout creditor says it can be paid without cutting pensions. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein may have clarified the legal issue of whether CalPERS pensions, widely regarded as untouchable, can be cut if any of the 1,581 local governments in the giant system take the drastic step of bankruptcy.
The CalPERS' governing board during a meeting several years ago at the pension fund's headquarters. (Photo: CalPERS board)
Calpensions: A federal judge ruled that CalPERS pensions can be cut in bankruptcy like other debt. He rejected the argument that the giant system is an “arm of the state” with pensions protected by federal law and two state laws on contracts and liens.