The County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 (CERL) authorizes counties to establish retirement systems pursuant to its provisions for the purpose of providing pension, disability, and other benefits to county and district employees. CERL defines compensation earnable for purposes of its provisions, with particular application to the calculation of final compensation and the determination of pension amounts and other benefits. Existing law, the Public Employees' Pension Reform Act of 2013, prescribes various limitations on public employees, employers, and retirement systems concerning, among other things, the types of remuneration that may be included in compensation that is applied to pensions.
This bill, which would apply only in Ventura County, would provide that compensation and compensation earnable include flexible benefits plan allowances paid by a county or a district on behalf of its employees as part of a cafeteria plan, as specified, if certain conditions are met. Among these conditions, the bill would require that the retirement system included the flexible benefit plan allowance as part of compensation earnable as of July 30, 2020, that the employer and employee paid contributions to the retirement system based on the flexible benefit plan allowance, and that the employer and employee continue to pay those contributions as the employee earns this allowance. The bill would apply these provisions to eligible members who retire on or before December 31, 2025. For members who retire after December 31, 2025, to the extent the retirement system excludes any remuneration, as described above, from the definition of compensation or compensation earnable, the bill would require the retirement system to refund contributions to the member, and to credit contributions to the employer, that were made based on the excluded remuneration in accordance with requirements under the Internal Revenue Code.
This bill would make legislative findings and declarations as to the necessity of a special statute for the County of Ventura.

Statutes affected:
06/21/21 - Amended Senate: 31461 GOV
06/22/21 - Amended Senate: 31461 GOV
07/14/21 - Amended Senate: 31461 GOV
08/31/21 - Amended Senate: 31461 GOV