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FINALLY. CCSF v. SFERS case (payment of the Supplemental COLA to pre-1996 retirees) is set for oral arguments before Division 1 of the First Appellate District at 1:30 PM Wednesday, May 1, 2019, at 350 McAllister Street – Fourth Floor. Protect our Benefits has filed an Amicus Brief “friend of the court” and will be present for oral arguments. Though not a party to the litigation, the court’s decision will affect many of our oldest and most vulnerable members. These retirees have been deprived of modest improvements to their pensions while at the same time suffering from the long-term effects of rising inflation.

The courtroom can hold approximately 100 people and all members are welcome to attend. A show of faces of retirees will speak volumes in a courtroom, sometimes more than the actual testimony.

If you are unable to make it, we understand and will keep you updated. If you are planning on attending, please click on the link below a few days before the Court Date to make sure the Court date did not get changed in any way:

California Courts – Appellate Court Case Information

Health Service System

There was a report of Kaiser Health not offering rides for medical appointments, even though it is a Medicare issue. Apparently, Kaiser being an HMO (unlike UHC which is a PPO) prevents them from offering a ride-sharing program. POB will inform you when we have more information. Rates and Benefits of the HSS are still being discussed.

As per the Health Service Board, three of the five eligible candidates officially withdrew their names for the Health Service Board Election, leaving the two members POB endorsed Karen Breslin and Chris Channing, for the two open Board seats. There is another HSS election for the Retirees Medical Benefit Board (OPEB) which effects the actives for their retiree medical benefits. POB has endorsed David Salem.

SFERS Retirement Board

I’m sure the SFERS Board is anticipating a positive outcome of their May 1st court date with the Appellate Court. A positive ruling would allow the SFERS Trustees to do their due diligence as a fiduciary while reminding the City they are indeed an independent multi-employee trust fund.

SFERS Fund is still doing well, even in these crazy times. For the first quarter of 2019, SFERS had a total return of 5.80% bringing the first nine months of the fiscal year 2018 – 2019 to 4.24%.  With a quarter of the fiscal year left, we are still 3.16% short of SFERS assumed the rate of return of 7.4% to qualify for a Supplemental COLA increase. Only time will tell but POB believes we are in capable hands with SFERS.

Protect Our Benefits

Hopefully, a lot of questions will be answered in May concerning the pre-1996ers. With a positive ruling for our most senior retires we hope we can put this issue to rest and finally right a wrong.

Even as we anticipate the winding up of this case we must always be alert to continuing attacks on public pensions. In these highly political times, there will always be assaults on public pensions. POB is always looking for fresh faces and ideas to help keep a watchful eye. If you can’t make May 1st court date a couple of prayers and well wishes will help. Thank you.


Your continuing contributions and support are greatly appreciated and are tax deductible. Please mail them to Protect Our Benefits Trust, P.O. 210250, San Francisco, Ca. 94121-0250 or CLICK HERE to donate today!

By Skip McKinney

Protect Our Benefits is an organization whose goals are to enhance the dignity and quality of life of all San Francisco City and County retirees and preserve their health and retirement benefits. The opinions are those of the writer.