(PR) Judge Rules Pensions Funded by Taxpayers Should Be Public Knowledge

HJTA Wins Court Case on the Publication of Pension Funds

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association wins significant victory for Taxpayers

Sacramento ‰ÛÒ Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility won a significant victory for government transparency today when a judge ruled they are entitled to a list of names and total pension benefits for all Contra Costa County employees receiving a pension of $100000 or more per year.

A retired employee had sued the county retirement board claiming that the amount paid to her in retirement was her private property and that releasing the information to the public would invade her privacy.

HJTA attorneys intervened in the case and argued that unlike the IRAs and 401k plans of private citizens whose retirement depends on their own savings and investment performance public employee "defined benefit" plans pay a guaranteed amount funded by taxpayers.

Moreover they argued pension "spiking" which is the practice of manipulating employment statistics to boost employees’ pension amounts is a widespread abuse that is costing taxpayers millions.

"The public interest in knowing how public money is spent outweighs any embarrassment public employees might feel from the disclosure of their retirement benefits" said Tim Bittle Director of Legal Affairs for the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

The judge of the Superior Court agreed and ruled "A transparent government is the cornerstone of our democracy. … Access to [the requested] information makes it possible for members of the public to expose corruption incompetence inefficiency [and] favoritism."

For more information on Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association visit http://www.HJTA.org.