L.A. Judge Orders Release of County Pension Data

November 16, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A Los Angeles judge ordered the release of all pension data for 50,000 Los Angeles County government retirees, reports the Los Angeles Times 

Superior Court Judge James Chalfant rejected arguments that the records are confidential. According to the Los Angles Times, he ruled that the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association will need to produce several variables that are used to calculate an employee’s pension, including years of service at the time of retirement, additional service credits purchased by an employee and the pension formula.

Judge Chalfant also denied the request by lawyers for two unions representing sheriff’s deputies to keep the names of former undercover officers secret. The union’s lawyers argued revealing those names could possibly put the retired officers at risk for retaliation from individuals they targeted while on the job.  Judge Chalfant only agreed to keep two names confidential.

The Los Angeles Times sought pension data for the county’s retirees for the past year (see L.A. County Retiree Group Standing Firm against Pension Disclosure). According to the article, the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association released some information on retirees in September, including names, pension payments and the departments from which they retired. However, similar data for 2,527 public safety employees was withheld after a union attorney alleged the release of the information could harm the lives of some retirees. The latest ruling requires data on all county retirees.