The firm provides advice and counsel to public agencies regarding the laws and regulations of public employee retirement plans, including PERS, the County Employees Retirement Act of 1937, STRS, and local agency retirement laws, as well as on, CalPERS medical and retiree health insurance issues. The firm offers clients Retirement Liability Audits which include, among other things, review of pay schedules and special compensation to ensure conformance with retirement statutes and regulations, review of retirees working after retirement, analysis of membership liability for contractors and employees not currently enrolled in the employer's retirement system, and a review of elected official benefits. Given the CalPERS regulations and new reporting requirements for PERS agencies with the conversion to MyCalPERS in September, 2011, a review of existing practices is recommended for all public agencies.
The firm also represents public agencies in court and in administrative proceedings regarding retirement issues, including actions brought by employees or retirees, PERS and other retirement boards. The firm helps agencies defend against PERS and other retirement board audits and, where necessary, file court and administrative challenges to any negative audit findings. The firm defends claims of underfunding as well as fiduciary obligations. The firm also provides representation involving disability and industrial disability retirement.
Members of the firm advise on all issues related to PERS, 1937 Act and STRS benefits. For example, we provide advice and counsel to clients regarding retirement formulas, the rules on reportable compensation, PERS contract amendments, disability retirement procedures and obligations, service credit, GASB issues, unfunded liabilities, retiree health benefits, vested rights and elected official benefits. Retirement issues have major impacts on agency labor relations. The firm provides strategy and guidance during negotiations in regards to retirement benefits, including acting as chief negotiator. We review agency policies and collective bargaining agreements/memoranda of understanding to ensure that they comply with applicable law.