Loomis educators get pension paydays

Some retirees say $100,000-lus pension packages are normal
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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A retired Loomis schools superintendent and a former Del Oro High School principal are on the list of local school retirees making more than $100,000 annually. Alfred “Bud” Nobili, retired Placer County Superintendent of Schools and former principal of Del Oro High School, receives an annual pension of $170,785 through the California State Teachers Retirement System. Gigg Powers, former superintendent of the Loomis Union School District, receives $113,310 a year. Other Placer County Office of Education retirees making the list are Ronald Andrade, former deputy superintendent, who receives $115,782 a year; and John Reinking, former superintendent, who receives $113,229 annually. Mark Warner, former assistant superintendent for the Placer Union High School District, receives $102,725 yearly. Kevin Ramirez, former president of Sierra College, receives $135,724 each year. “To me, it’s a lot of money,” said Barbara Leak, of Loomis, who works for the Loomis Fire Protection District. “It’s not so much the pension, but what they were making before their retirement. As public employees, are they really worth the inflated salaries they’re being paid?” Leak said. The State Teachers’ Retirement System pays retirement benefits for education employees in California. A calculator, on the department’s website, allows employees to estimate their retirement benefits. Those benefits are based on factors such as an employee’s age at retirement, number of school years worked and paid into the retirement system, final and highest compensation, and unused sick leave. Nobili recently said he didn’t want to comment on his pension, but did mention that he worked in education for over 41 years. Andrade said because retirement benefits are based on certain factors, and because the Placer County Office of Education never bought into enhanced retirement options, his pension amount is normal. “I don’t think there is anything unusual about my retirement,” Andrade said. “There is no special augmentation, no special treatment … beyond the normal retirement system.” Andrade worked in education for 38 years, 18 of those were spent with the Placer County Office of Education. Jay Stewart, assistant superintendent of the Loomis school district, said retirement benefits differ for everyone depending on their circumstances. “Employees pay in eight percent of their salary to STRS and the district pays 8.25 percent of salaries to STRS. Again, this is the same for all STRS employees up-and-down the state. Gigg also retired under this system.” Stewart said. Chris Paull, of Loomis, said he considers the pensions of public retirees, like Powers, fair. “My family is in education. The system is set up to take care of educators,” Paull said. “He (Powers) worked forever in the system.” Doug Marquand, assistant superintendent at the Placer Union High School District, said, “When an employee retires, we provide them (STRS) with their highest annual salary and their current accrued sick leave. Marquand said the retirement system then takes this and calculates the retirees pension. “Because their pension is granted based on STRS or PERS criteria over their entire career, our district may not have some of these variables. Many of our employees have worked for other districts that they will receive service credit (from),” Marquand said. Gold Country Media’s Bridget Jones contributed to this story. -------------------------- EDUCATOR SALARIES — LOOMIS UNION SCHOOL DISTICT: Board members: $0, no retirement Principals: $89,928 to $94,693 Assistant Superintendent: $110,547 Superintendent: $136,936 Source: Loomis Union School District PLACER UNION HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT; Board members: $60 per meeting, $2,880 maximum Principals: $96,985 to $117,886 Assistant superintendents: $104,260 to $126,728 Superintendent: $152,958 Source: Placer Union High School District