Volume 24 | June 24, 2019
June 2019 Newsletter
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In this Edition:
  • Meet the Team: Jenny Labastida, Member Services Specialist
  • Board of Retirement Elections: General, Safety, & Safety Alternate
  • 2019 COLA Tracker
  • May 2019 Investment Performance
  • May 22, 2019 & June 5, 2019 Board of Retirement Meeting Highlights
  • June 26, 2019 Board of Retirement Meeting Agenda
  • July Board of Retirement Meeting Rescheduled to Wednesday, July 31
  • CareCounsel Information
  • RESBC Membership Information
Meet the Team: Jenny Labastida, Member Services Specialist
My employment with Santa Barbara County began in September 1997. Prior to joining SBCERS, I worked for the Public Health Department for 13 years as an Accounting Technician.

I began at the Retirement System in January 2011 as a Financial Office Professional, and promoted to a Member Services Specialist in June 2017. I joined SBCERS because of the opportunity to work in a different department and to gain more knowledge of the Retirement System. What better way than to work for SBCERS.

When I am not at work, I love spending time with my family. On the weekends, you can find us enjoying the local parks and beaches. We also enjoy hiking and other outdoor adventures. Our favorite family vacation spot is Hawaii and we look forward to visiting every year. When I get the chance, I also like to participate in Spartan race, mud runs and other obstacle races

What is something unique that you bring to SBCERS and its members?

I am relatable to employees; being a SBCERS member myself, I share the same concerns about my financial future and available retirement benefits. It is my job as a Member Services Specialist to provide information to members about their retirement benefits and options, so that they can make the best decision for themselves and their loved ones. I am passionate about educating members about all that they need to know now and leading up to their retirement date, so that their transition to retirement goes as smoothly as possible and is not as nerve-wracking as others may think it is.

What is the most rewarding part of being a Member Services Specialist?

I love my job as a Member Services Specialist. I work with a great team, and I enjoy working with retirees, hearing about their career, experience, and adventures. I am able to meet members from different departments, whether they are new employees or have been employed for 30 years. I also enjoy counseling members about their retirement benefits and helping them navigate through the retirement process.

To view a PDF version, click HERE .

Contact Member Services
For general inquiries, call 1-877-568-2940 or email benefits@sbcers.org

Santa Barbara
Rebekah Bardakos:  rbardakos@sbcers.org
Barbara Gordon:  bgordon@sbcers.org
Arika Khajetoorians:  akhajetoorians@sbcers.org
 Santa Maria
Scott Dunlap: Sdunlap@sbcers.org
Jenny Labastida:  Jlabastida@sbcers.org
Board of Retirement Elections: General, Safety, & Safety Alternate

SBCERS is holding elections for the 2nd General Member, 7th Safety Member, and 7th Safety Alternate Member of the Board of Retirement. All members eligible to participate in the elections will receive an official notice by mail.

Nominating petitions will be available on Monday, July 1 at both SBCERS Santa Barbara and Santa Maria offices, and online at sbcers.org . Nominating petitions must be filed with the County Elections Office in Santa Barbara by 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 6.

A voting ballot will be mailed to all eligible members on Wednesday, September 4, and available for pickup in the Elections division offices.

Results will be tabulated by the Elections division on Thursday, September 26.
2019 COLA Tracker

For May 2019, Los Angeles Area Inflation (year over year) was 3.13%. The average monthly increase for 2019 to date is 2.97%.

Click HERE   or on the chart to see 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. Click   HERE   to read the current Bureau of Labor Statistics report. 
May 2019 Investment Performance 

The Total Fund returned -1.64% for the month of May. Since the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2018, the portfolio has returned 4.20%, generating $124 million for our beneficiaries.

Click HERE to Read the Full May 2019 Investment Flash Report!
May 22, 2019 & June 5, 2019 Board of Retirement Meeting Highlights

At the Board of Retirement's May 22, 2019 meeting, the Board accepted the Quarterly Private Real Estate Portfolio Review, the Quarterly Private Equity and Private Real Return Report, and the Quarterly Public Markets Portfolio Review. The CEO also presented the first reading of the proposed annual budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2019.

The minutes for the May 22, 2019 regular Board of Retirement meeting can be found HERE .

At the Board of Retirement's June 5, 2019, the CEO received an annual evaluation of performance and presented an update regarding the Robin Hill Road project.

The minutes for the June 5, 2019 regular Board of Retirement meeting can be found HERE .
June 26, 2019 Board of Retirement Meeting Agenda Available

The next Regular Board of Retirement meeting is on June 26, 2019 in the Board Hearing Room, Joseph Centeno Betteravia Government Administration Building, in Santa Maria.

Click HERE to access the Board M aterials on our agenda management website.   
July Board of Retirement Meeting Rescheduled to Wednesday, July 31

The July Board Meeting originally scheduled for July 24, 2019 has been rescheduled to July 31, 2019. The meeting will take place in the Coastal Room, at the Employees' University.
Want help with your Health Care Inquiries and 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 Provider

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, 3916 State Street, Suite 100 Santa Barbara, CA 93105, 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.