Alameda Case Update

August 4, 2020

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The California Supreme Court issued an opinion on Thursday, July 30, 2020 in the case known as Alameda County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association et al. v. Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Association and Board of Retirement of ACERA (S247095, also known as “the Alameda case”).

Full Supreme Court Opinion in Vested Rights Case

The SBCERA Board of Retirement will discuss the opinion and the steps that must be taken to comply with the opinion at its public meeting on Thursday, August 6, 2020.  The meeting will take place remotely due to the COVID-19 emergency.  You can access the meeting agenda at the following link: https://tinyurl.com/sbceraaugustboardagenda 

The public and interested parties may attend the meeting via Zoom at the following link: https://tinyurl.com/sbceraaugustboard

Background on the Alameda Case

SBCERA is one of 20 California county retirement systems governed by the County Employees’ Retirement Law of 1937 (CERL). The issue in the Alameda case is the inclusion of several pay items in compensation earnable for legacy members of CERL retirement systems. Compensation earnable is the compensation paid to members that is used to calculate retirement benefits. As of January 1, 2013, the California Legislature excluded from compensation earnable payments for services outside of normal working hours and payments made to third parties for the benefit of the member. The California Supreme Court affirmed that the Legislature acted within its authority when it passed legislation excluding these items from compensation earnable.

Once SBCERA received notice that pay items similar to those included in SBCERA’s Pay Code Resolution were in dispute, the SBCERA Board determined that under its Pay Code Resolution (as of February 2019), similar pay items in controversy would continue to be included as compensation earnable subject to the outcome of the Alameda case.  Based on the court’s opinion, the SBCERA Board of Retirement will revisit its prior position on this issue.

What does this mean for SBCERA participating employers and members?

The SBCERA Board will discuss the issues and likely take action at its meeting on Thursday, August 6, 2020. A link to the staff report and proposed Resolution for that meeting can be found at the following link: https://tinyurl.com/AlamedaCaseUpdate

SBCERA will continue to provide updates and instruction to our participating employers and members to keep you informed.

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Coronavirus Updates

Our office is currently closed to the public, but we're working and available to assist you. Pension payments are on schedule and we are processing retirements. Visit our coronavirus (COVID-19) resource page for more information.

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