2010 Pension Task Force
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Bruce Rudd, City Manager
2600 Fresno Street
Room 2064
Fresno, CA 93721
(559) 621-7770
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The City of Fresno, like most other California cities, is in the throes of economic crisis due to dramatic declines in sales tax, property tax revenue, and other fees for service, while at the same time seeing an increase in expenses such as healthcare benefits and pension costs. In this environment, it is imperative that the City act responsibly and review each and every opportunity for fiscal and operational reform.

The City of Fresno has two pension funds, a Public Safety Fund and a General Employee Fund. Through prudent fiscal management, these funds have been among the highest “funded” systems in the State for years. Even through this current Great Recession, the systems remain well-funded. However, as responsible stewards of the public’s money and trust, the City has established a Task Force to identify best practices and any needed reforms for the systems. The Task Force will have the full support of City staff, including the City Manager, Controller, Budget Director and Retirement Administrator. In addition, the Best Practices Analysis will be guided by an outside firm to provide expert, credible, neutral information and advice to assure the highest level of credibility and responsibility to the Task Force and the Fresno community.

The 2010 Pension Best Practices Analysis will review and report on the following key issues facing our pension funds:

  • Defining a “healthy” retirement system and ranking the City of Fresno pension systems based on that definition.
  • Clearly outlining the “cost” of the City of Fresno pension systems, including the ration of employer/employee cost (“normal cost basis”), and the direct cost paid by the City to the funds for the past ten years.
  • Making a prediction about the future of the City’s systems, including the ongoing stability of the systems and the expected ongoing City contribution to the systems for the next several years.
  • Comparing the City’s systems to other public and private systems, considering the dependency of the private sector on Social Security (City employees receive no Social Security benefit upon retirement) and the salary and benefit differences of the public and private sectors.
  • Pros and cons of alternative retirement systems, such as defined contribution systems, including the cost/savings to the City and the risks/benefits to the City.
  • Recommending reform initiatives, if any.
On July 20, 2010, the Pension Task Force voted to table further work of the task force until late Fall of 2010.
The State of California is undergoing a thorough review of public pension issues through the Little Hoover Commission and the final recommendations may impact public pensions statewide. The City’s Pension Task Force will continue to monitor the progress of the Little Hoover Commission and will take into account any final recommendations that impact the City’s two pension systems. To follow the progress of this critical Little Hoover Commission work, please visit www.lhc.ca.gov.

For more information on pension issues in the City of Fresno, please contact Nicole Zieba, Deputy City Manager, at 559-621-7774.

All meetings of the 2010 Pension Best Practices Analysis Task Force will be noticed, agendized and open to the public. All minutes of the Task Force will be published on the City’s website.

Task Force Members
Actuarial Information from Bartel Associates

May 11, 2011

July 20, 2010
June 8, 2010
May 18, 2010
Agenda backup May 18, 2010
May 4, 2010
April 20, 2010
March 30, 2010
March 16, 2010 

March 3, 2010

Video Archive
7/18/2011 - Video
5/10/2011 - Video
7/20/2010 - Video
6/8/2010 - Video
5/18/2010 - Video
5/4/2010 - Video
4/20/2010 - Video
3/30/2010 - Video
3/16/2010 - Video
3/3/2010 - Video