Employee Relations 05/18/2012
Budget Trailer Language Proposed to Remedy Retired Annuitant Confusion
Counties will recall that Assembly Bill 1028 (Chapter No. 440,
Statutes of 2011), sponsored by the California Public Employees’
Retirement System (CalPERS), amended the Public Employees’
Retirement Law regarding the requirement that a public agency
retiree cannot work for a state or public employer for more than
960 hours per fiscal year without being reinstated from
retirement. The bill specified that the 960-hour limit applies to
retirees employed as temporary “extra help” (which the measure
defines as occurring during an emergency to prevent the stoppage
of public business or to perform temporary work).
CalPERS maintains that the provisions of AB 1028 were intended to clarify current law that retired annuitants cannot be hired into permanent positions and not to disallow retired annuitants from working over successive years. However, the bill’s use of the word, “temporary” has incited confusion among public agencies and created reluctance to hire retired annuitants, as it suggested they only hire them if they are filling a temporary position. Such confusion poses a serious issue for counties utilizing retired annuitants in various employment positions. This problem has been particularly acute for sheriff and probation department positions. Accordingly, language has been proposed to be included in the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation budget trailer bill that includes the removal of the word “temporary” from the statute. Budget trailer bills are heard by the Legislature concurrently with the Budget Act, which must be passed by midnight on June 15.
CSAC will keep counties apprised of the status of the proposed trailer bill language.