PENSION UPDATE: Kern, San Diego, Riverside & Other Counties Join "Billion Dollar Club"

Deficits balloon by BILLIONS after accounting for unfunded pension liabilities
Tuesday, March 8, 2016

(Sacramento, CA) - The financial carnage continues as more local governments report their Fiscal Year 2015 balance sheets under the new rules, which requires them to account for defined benefit public employee pension "unfunded actuarial acrued liabilities" (UAALs).

Last week, we reported that Los Angeles County's debt increased by over $8 billion when adding unfunded public employee pension liabilities to its balance sheet. Several more counties have reported their Fiscal Year 2015 numbers, adding themselves to the "Billion Dollar Club."  The latest list includes:

           County                     Debt       

Kern                   $  1.5 billion

San Diego              1.9 billion

Riverside               1.7 billion

Sacramento           1.7 billion

Santa Clara           2.2 billion

San Francisco       1.4 billion

Contra Costa        1.0 billion

Including Los Angeles County's $8.6 billion, and Orange County's $3.3 billion, the total debt adjustment for just 9 of California's 58 counties is more than $20 BILLION.

Beginning this year, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB; pronounced "GAZ-bee") mandated that governments must report unfunded public employee pension liabilities on their audited balance sheets in their Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR; pronounced "CAF-er").  As more CAFRs keep rolling in and reflecting the true condition of local government balance sheets, everyone is doing the 'GASB gasp.'


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Press Contact: Amanda Smith @ 714-662-6050,

State Senator John Moorlach is a nationally recognized budget, finance, and fiscal policy expert. Moorlach graduated from CA State University in Long Beach in 1977, passed the C.P.A. exam in 1978, and completed his studies for the Certified Financial Planner designation in 1987. He earned a Certificate in Public Finance from the University of Delaware, Division of Continuing Education in 1995, the Certificate of Achievement in Public Plan Policy (CAPPP) in Employee Pensions in 1999 and the Trustees Masters Program in 2003 through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, and the New Supervisors Training Institute in 2007 from CA State University in Sacramento in cooperation with their Center for California Studies.