Updates

March 12, 2019
12 Mar 2019

Political Update – March 12, 2019

 

Two of the senators pushing PERS secrecy bill receive six-figure public pensions 

Victor Joecks
Las Vegas Review-Journal

February 28, 2019

State Sens. David Parks and Joyce Woodhouse each receives a six-figure pension from the Public Employees’ Retirement System. Now, they’re co-sponsoring a bill to prevent you from finding out how much they and other retirees will collect going forward.

State law requires PERS to disclose retiree names, payouts and employment information such as years of service and last employer. You need these details to calculate the generosity of PERS payouts. This data is especially important because PERS says its unfunded liability is more than $13 billion. Using private-sector accounting, however, that number tops $40 billion. PERS is raising contribution rates this year to pay down that debt.

Sky-high payouts are a significant part of this problem. Rossi Ralenkotter, the disgraced former CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, retired last year. He’s now collecting a $284,000-a-year pension for life. Based on his salary history, it looks like he took a reduced pension to provide for a beneficiary in the case of his death.

Former Clark County School District superintendent Pat Skorkowsky retired last year with 30 years of service. His yearly pension is $238,000.

Former Assistant Sheriff Todd Fasulo earned $190,000 in base pay in 2017. His pension is worth $168,000 a year, which was more than 88 percent of his final year’s base pay. After “retiring” from government after just 27 years of service, he started working as vice president of security at Wynn Las Vegas.

David Noahr earned $157,000 in base pay working for the North Las Vegas police department in 2017. His yearly pension is now $177,000 a year, which is 113 percent of his last full year of base pay. Thomas Carroll retired as a chief deputy district attorney in 2018. His base pay was $161,000 in 2017. He now rakes in a yearly pension of $156,000, equivalent to 97 percent of his final salary.

Pension data comes from PERS via a public records request. PERS provided February 2019 payouts; yearly pensions are extrapolated from that. Salary data is from TransparentNevada.com.

This analysis reveals the generosity of PERS benefits, but it’s impossible to do without retiree names. Yet three state senators don’t want you to see this information.

*NEW*

Quote of
the week

 


Quote:

“Taxpayers, including PERS members themselves, serve as the ultimate backstop to the retirement system. They are the ones required to pay when there’s a shortfall, as they have been repeatedly over the last decade.”

Richard Karpel,
Executive Director of the Nevada Press Association,
to the Nevada Senate Committee on Government Affairs

Lawmakers again hear divisive proposal to keep public pension recipients’ names private

James DeHaven
Reno Gazette Journal

March 1, 2019

It could soon get a lot harder to find out who is receiving a public pension in Nevada.

A deeply divisive bill heard at the Legislature on Friday would make the names of retirees enrolled in the state-run Public Employees’ Retirement System confidential and exempt from public records requests.

Current state law requires PERS to disclose the type and amount of pension paid to retirees, as well as their name, last employer, years of service and years of retirement.  

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