CARSON CITY — The state retirement system has released some limited information about the retirement benefits received by former public-sector workers.
The release was the result of a Nevada Supreme Court decision issued in late 2013.
The release of the January 2014 payroll register by the Public Employees Retirement System lists the names of those getting a retirement check for their state or local government public service and their gross and net pay.
The release of the data includes the caveat that the January payments do not necessarily reflect ongoing monthly benefit amounts because of the potential of adjustments for under- or overpayments. PERS didn’t release personal information, including Social Security numbers. The agency sent a letter to retirees informing them of the data’s release.
Although limited, Tuesday’s report does shed some light on the retirement amounts some more notable Nevada public employee retirees are receiving.
Former Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, who retired from the North Las Vegas Fire Department in 2011, for example, received a benefit of $10,011.45 in January, with a net payment of $8,535.45. If the amount was not adjusted, it means Oceguera is receiving more than $120,000 a year in retirement from his years of service as a firefighter.
Former Clark County District Attorney David Roger, who retired in 2011 to take a position with the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, received a gross payment of $11,258.67 in January, with a net payment of $5,081.79.
Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros Anthony, who worked for the Metropolitan Police Department for 29 years before retiring, collected $12,248.71 in January, with a net payment of $10,217.71.
Former University of Nevada, Reno head football coach Chris Ault is getting one of the biggest payouts with a gross amount of $22,753 and a net payment in January of $17,560.41.
Another large payment was made to retired North Las Vegas police Lt. Christopher B. Corrado, who received $29,694.58 in gross pay in January with a net amount of $26,949.38.
Former Clark County Schools chief Brian Cram received $18,255.26 in January with a net payment of $13,654.26.
Dana Bilyeu, who just retired as executive officer of PERS, received $10,234.17 in January, with a net payment of $8,549.17.
The report also lists judicial and legislative retirees and their January payments.
But the report shows there are few public employee retirees who are in the five-figure retirement club. Most are in the four figures in gross payments, with some as small as just a few hundred dollars a month.
The agency said in its 2013 Popular Annual Financial Report that the average monthly benefit payment was $2,654 for regular employees, with an average retirement age of 65. For police and firefighters, the average monthly payment was $4,637 with an average retirement age of 59.
The retirement agency released the individual payment data as a result of the court decision that found that the information on public pension amounts was public. At the same time, the court said the individual files of retirees were not public, so the agency has been working to find a way to comply with the court’s ruling.
The Reno Gazette-Journal in 2011 submitted a public records request to PERS seeking the names of all individuals who are collecting pensions, the names of their government employers, their salaries, their hire and retirement dates and the amounts of their pension payments.
The data released Tuesday doesn’t provide all of the requested information, and the newspaper is again taking its records request to the courts in an effort to get the information it is seeking.
The PERS pension fund covers about 100,000 active state and local government workers and more than 40,000 retirees. It covers nearly all public sector workers in Nevada, from teachers and city workers to state employees.
Lawmakers and judiciary members have their own separate retirement systems managed by PERS.
Victor Joecks, executive vice president of the Nevada Policy Research Institute, a conservative think tank based in Las Vegas, said the data show “exactly why pension reform is so desperately needed.”
“As the public has long suspected, hundreds of retired government employees are now receiving over $100,000 a year in retirement payouts,” he said. “And while those in the private sector typically retire in their mid-60s, many government employees retire in their 50s or even 40s.”
Joecks said PERS now needs to fully comply with the Nevada Supreme Court ruling and release all requested information on pension payouts, including accrued service time, job titles and retirement dates.
Contact Capital Bureau reporter Sean Whaley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-687-3900. Follow him on Twitter @seanw801.