More information provided for managers’ PERS

By From page A9 | October 26, 2012

Candidates running for the board of the Georgetown Divide Public Utility District and a few readers have written in to complain that the information contained in the article comparing the compensation package of Hank White, general manager of GDPUD, with that of Jim Abercrombie, general manager of the El Dorado Irrigation District was unclear or incorrect.

They pointed to information on GDPUD’s Website regarding salary information as evidence for their complaints, with particular emphasis on the amount paid by each district toward their general manager’s retirement.

However, it appears that confusion in how to interpret the salary information on GDPUD’s Website accounts for the misunderstanding.

In EID’s case, the district pays the full employee contribution to PERS for Abercrombie, which is $13,500 a year. In addition they pay $9,881 in Social Security and Medicare taxes for him. EID also pays the employer’s contribution as does any government agency on the Public Employees Retirement System.

In the case of GDPUD, both White and GDPUD pay into PERS. However, according to White, when he retires he won’t receive any portion of the employer-paid fund nor does he have any control over it.

Instead he will draw his retirement from funds he has deposited into PERS until they are depleted. If he dies before his portion of the fund is depleted, his heir receives the balance but none of the employer-paid fund. If he lives past the point where his fund is depleted, he receives pension payments from the Employer Fund until he dies. Since he has no way of knowing if he will ever collect on payments from the Employer-paid Fund, he doesn’t consider it part of his current compensation, although the district still has to show it as an expense.

The same circumstances apply for Abercrombie, though EID pays 100 percent of the employee’s contribution.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or [email protected] Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

Dawn Hodson

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