Kern County pension report's top earner might surprise you

2016 Kern County Pension Report

Bakersfield, Calif. - The research firm Transparent California, which tracks public employee compensation, released its annual report on pensions this evening. with the top earner sticking out.

Transparent California reports that retired Kern County Water Agency General Manager James 'Jim' Beck received the highest pension in the county in 2016, earning an initial pension rate of 98% of his final salary.

From Transparent California:

In 2015 beck earned $270,000 a year.

Upon retiring after 32 years in 2016, Beck immediately began collecting $265,000 a year -- a high rate normally associated with police or fire officers.

Robert Fellner, the research director of Transparent California explained that Kern County has one of the lowest funded pension ratios of California's major pension plans, at under 65%.

He noted the Kern County pension fund is 2 billion dollars in debt.

Fellner also added that such an unusual ratio and pension for such a job is simply a symptom of the complex pension system. 

We reached out to Beck late Monday but did not hear back as of news time. 


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