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.

As of this date, the appellate court has not set a hearing date for SFERS V. CCSF. POB will update when we receive information on a date and will notify via website and Facebook.

Health Service System
HSS is still trying to finalize their recommendations for our health plans and Delta Dental. They need to consider the needs of our retirees, as well as the actives. POB feels that we—the retirees—should be “getting more bang for our buck.” (More on this later.) Be sure to take advantage of the different services offered through HSS, especially Best Doctors. Remember, you are your best advocate.

SFERS Retirement Board
The SFERS Retirement Board approved the basic cost of living adjustment (COLA) for qualified miscellaneous and new plan safety retirees of 2%, effective July 1, 2018.

Old plan safety members’—those hired before Nov. 2, 1976—basic cola is contingent on the salary increases of active members as follows:

  • for members who retired before July 1, 1975 (Proposition H members) the basic cola is based on 50% of the percentage increase in the salary of the rank or position from which they retired; and
  • for members who retired on or after July 1, 1975 (Proposition M members) the basic cola is based on 50% of the actual dollar increase in the salary of the rank or position from which they retired.

While the basic cola for the foregoing members is effective July 1, it is paid in the Oct. 31 monthly allowance, retroactive to July 1.

As of May 31, 2018—11 months into the fiscal year—SFERS has gained 11.32% on their investments. If these numbers remain steady, we can be on our way to having to having enough excess investment earnings to qualify for a supplemental COLA.

The SFERS Board has a new member, San Francisco City Assessor Carmen Chu. Ms. Chu has held prior positions with the city over the past decade. She served as deputy director of the Mayor’s Office of Public policy and Finance, was a member of the board of supervisors, and is currently the elected assessor for San Francisco. Ms. Chu replaces Victor Makras, who has been appointed to fill a vacancy on the San Francisco Port Commission. POB wishes to welcome Ms. Carmen Chu, and a thank-you to Victor Makras.

Brian Stansbury and Wendy Paskin-Jordan will remain as president and vice president of the SFERS Board.

Final Thoughts
POB has put together a committee to significantly enhance our website in order to be more informative about the history of POB, and to offer more comprehensive information about our SFERS and how it affects all city retirees.

Remember: “United we stand; divided we fall.”