Some Central Valley public employee retirees among highest paid by CalPERS

August 9, 2017 1:43pm

•  Study examines who is getting the most in pensions

•  “Californians will spend over $30 billion on pension costs in the coming year”

CalPERS paid out over $20 billion in benefits last year as retirees snagging pensions of more than $100,000 grows to nearly 23,000, according to a report Wednesday from, a project of the Nevada Policy Research Institute, which claims to be a "nonpartisan, free-market think tank."

The data reveal that the California Public Employees’ Retirement System made 646,843 individual payments totaling over $20 billion last year, with 22,826 retirees earning pensions of over $100,000 — a 63 percent increase since 2012.

The top three CalPERS pensions went to:

• Former Solano County administrator Michael Johnson: $390,485.

• Former Los Angeles County Sanitation District GM Stephen Maguin: $345,417.

• Former UCLA professor Joaquin Fuster: $345,180.

The average pension for a full-career CalPERS retiree was $66,400.

In the Central Valley, according to the database,

• Wayne Hose, a former Stockton city employee, received a pension of $213,014.28, the most of some 150 city retirees getting pensions of more that $100,000.

• Richard Braziel, a city of Sacramento retiree, who had total pension benefits of $198,411.96, highest for the Capital City.

• James Eastman Jr., a retiree from the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District, who received $240,653.52 in 2016, the most of any of his 657 fellow fire department retirees.

Data for other Central Valley cities were not provided.

With the recent addition of CalPERS data, says it now has over 1.1 million pension records from 33 California public pension plans.

Statewide, at least 52,963 retirees collected pensions of at least $100,000 last year, according to the data.

The continual rise in pension costs demonstrates the importance of making this information public, says Transparent California research director Robert Fellner.

“Californians will spend over $30 billion on pension costs in the coming year, a price tag which entitles them to full transparency regarding how that money is being spent,” he says.

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