July 2022

Volume 59

Photo Credit: "Return of the Cedar Waxwings" by Lori Norton

Highlights

IN-PERSON POP UP APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE

BOARD OF RETIREMENT NOMINATION PETITIONS DUE AUGUST 9

ALAMEDA DECISION: REFUND OF CONTRIBUTIONS ON STAND-BY PAY

Also in this edition...


  • 2022 COLA Results
  • June 2022 Investments Results
  • June 22, 2022 Board of Retirement Meeting Highlights
  • July 27, 2022 Board of Retirement Meeting Agenda Available
  • CareCounsel Information
  • RESBC Membership Information

IN-PERSON POP UP APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE

SBCERS Member Services Representatives are available for in-person "Pop Up" appointments in Santa Maria and Santa Barbara:

  • Thursday, July 28 - Santa Barbara
  • Tuesday, August 2 - Santa Maria


All upcoming pop up dates are updated at www.sbcers.org/pop-up.


Member Services Representatives are also available for virtual appointments on Zoom or over the phone on other dates.

 

SBCERS asks that members please wear a mask and practice social distancing during their in-person appointment. Masks will be available at each pop up location if needed.

Click Here to Book an Appointment

Members may choose between 20-minute or 60-minute appointments.


Example 20-Minute Topics:

  • Service purchase of medical leave or extra help time
  • Divorce
  • Tax withholding changes
  • Health reimbursement claims
  • Direct deposit changes
  • Insurance questions


Example 60-Minute Topics:

  • Pre-retirement or retirement counseling sessions
  • Death benefit claims
  • Continuance onboarding

BOARD OF RETIREMENT NOMINATION PETITIONS DUE AUGUST 9


Elections will be held Wednesday, September 14, 2022 – Wednesday, October 12, 2022, to select three voting members and an alternate voting member of the Board of Retirement:

  1. General 2nd Member elected by active General employees (filling a vacancy from December 1, 2022 – December 31, 2023),
  2. General 3rd Member elected by active General employees (full 3-year term from January 1, 2023 – December 31, 2025), and
  3. Safety 7th Member and Safety Alternate 7A Member elected by Safety employees (full 3-year terms from January 1, 2023 – December 31, 2025). The receiver of the most votes is the voting member and the runner-up is the alternate.

General and Safety members who would like to run for a seat on the Board of Retirement must submit a Nomination Petition by 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 9th to an SBCERS office. Nominating petitions are available on the Elections webpage.


Nominating petitions must be signed by members eligible to vote for the candidate being nominated. Each signer must legibly print their name, affix their signature (wet or electronic), and date the petition. The candidate may also list nominators’ name, email address, and phone number.


Inquiries regarding these elections may be made by calling the Clerk of the Board of Retirement at 805-770-1135 or emailing clerkoftheboard@sbcers.org

ALAMEDA DECISION: REFUND OF CONTRIBUTIONS ON STAND-BY PAY


In response to the Alameda Decision, and extensive study of the County’s unique stand-by practices, the Santa Barbara County Board of Retirement voted on March 24th 2021 to change the pensionability of certain stand-by earnings codes. This means that the County of Santa Barbara compensation associated with these codes is no longer included in the calculation of retirement contributions, and no longer included in a member’s Final Average Salary for the purposes of calculating a retirement benefit. This change affects pre-PEPRA “Legacy Members” who worked stand-by after January 1, 2013. Stand-by pay for PEPRA (Plan 8) members was already determined to be non-pensionable pursuant to PEPRA.


Additionally, the County of Santa Barbara negotiated a number of side letters with several labor unions, including SEIU Local 620, Santa Barbara County Fire Fighters Inc., Local 2046, and the Santa Barbara County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, which were all dated March 2, 2022. Pursuant to these side letters, particular special assignment pay within specific job classifications was recharacterized as an allowance, effective December 30, 2019.


Each of these events has resulted in the creation of a number of new or amended earn codes, which are scheduled for implementation to the County timekeeping system effective Pay Period 2022-16.


Click here for more information on when to expect your refund.

2022 COLA Results


For June 2022, Los Angeles Area Inflation (year over year) was 8.59%. The average monthly increase for 2022 to date is 7.98%.


View monthly inflation figures compared to last year.


Want to track the COLA on your own? On the 15th of each month, the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor statistics releases CPI data for Los Angeles.


Read the current Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

June 2022 Investment Results


The Total Fund returned -3.25% for the month of June 2022.


Since July 1, 2021, the portfolio has returned 0.16%, generating over $3.85 million for our beneficiaries.


Read the full June 2022 Investment Flash Report.

June 22, 2022 Board of Retirement Meeting Highlights


At the June 22, 2022 Board of Retirement meeting, the Board approved the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2022 and received presentations from RVK, Inc. on the their Annual Strategic Plan and Fixed Income Structure Study. The Board also approved the investment of $20 million to Angelo Gordon Direct Lending Fund Evergreen and authorized the CEO to negotiate and execute an agreement in writing with Angelo Gordon.


Read the draft June 22, 2022 Minutes.

July 27, 2022 Board of Retirement Meeting Agenda Available


The next Regular Board of Retirement meeting will be held in Hatch Hall at Direct Relief's Goleta headquarters on July 27, 2022.


Members of the public who would like to make a public comment may do so via Zoom or in-person at the meeting location. Please email clerkoftheboard@sbcers.org for instructions. The Board of Retirement meeting will also be livestreamed via YouTube at https://www.sbcers.org/board-of-retirement/watch-live/.


Click HERE to access agendas and board materials on our agenda management website.

WANT HELP WITH YOUR HEALTH CARE INQUIRIES & CONCERNS?

Looking for a stress-free solution to your healthcare inquiries and, or concerns? CareCounsel is our health advocacy partner and is a service offered as part of your benefit package. CareCounsel works independently from your insurance carrier and is a completely confidential resource. 


It’s easy, call: (888-227-3334), or email staff@carecounsel.com Monday through Friday 6:30 am to 5:00 pm PST. After hours, you can leave a message and they will get back to you the next business day.


A few examples of why you should contact CareCounsel:

  • Education
  • Making Sense of Medicare
  • Benefits and Coverage Questions
  • Claims and Billing Assistance
  • Eligibility Status
  • Quality Concerns
  • Grievances and Appeals
  • Assistance with Locating Healthcare Providers

RETIRED EMPLOYEES OF SANTA BARBARA COUNTY (RESBC)

RESBC is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of county retirees by providing information on critical retirement issues and offering educational/cultural social opportunities. Membership in RESBC is $2.50 monthly. Dues are deducted from the member’s Santa Barbara County pension payment. County employees may join RESBC by completing the RESBC Membership Deduction Authorization form at the time of their retirement exit conference.


Retirees may join at any time by requesting a membership form from SBCERS, 130 Robin Hill Road, Suite 100, Goleta, CA 93117, 1-877-568-2940 or, by clicking HERE and sending the completed form to benefits@sbcers.org. 


RESBC Membership benefits include:

  • 4 issues of the RESBC newsletter per year.
  • 4 subsidized luncheon meetings per year held at various county locations.
  • Opportunities to participate in subsidized day trips and special events.
  • Attendance at special presentations on critical issues such as health insurance, pension litigation, pension-related court decisions, etc.
  • Opportunity to socialize and have fun with former co-workers and friends.

Have a question about an item in this newsletter?

Call a Benefit Representative at 1-877-568-2940. We are ready to help you!


Want to look at prior newsletters?

Click HERE to visit the SBCERS Newsletter Archive.