On April 15, 2020, San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Association (SBCERA) received notice of the date for the California Supreme Court to hear oral arguments 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) (“Alameda”). The Court set oral argument for May 5, 2020. On that date, the Court will hear issues concerning several pay items for legacy members of County Employees’ Retirement Law of 1937 (CERL) systems. Some of the pay items at issue are similar to pay items under SBCERA’s Pay Code Resolution.
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. Therefore, once the California Supreme Court issues an opinion in the Alameda case, the SBCERA Board will meet to discuss and determine, what action, if any, is required to implement the Court’s opinion, including notice to SBCERA participating employers and members.
What does this mean for SBCERA participating employers and members?
Although the Court will hear argument on May 5, 2020, it is not expected for the Court to rule on this case or issue an opinion that same day. SBCERA does not have any insight as to the Court’s ruling or when a published opinion, if any, may be issued. Nonetheless, in the interim, the SBCERA Board has not taken any action to exclude the pay items in controversy, but rather continue with the conditional inclusion of such pay items. Until then, SBCERA participating employers should continue to report to SBCERA pay items as specified in the Pay Code Resolution until further notice and subject to the outcome of the Alameda case. Throughout this process, SBCERA will continue to monitor the Alameda case closely, and we will provide updates to our participating employers and members to keep you informed.