Retired LA schools chief Ramon Cortines received pension benefits totaling a remarkable $238,383.67 last year, possibly through a controversial pension-spiking practice known as “air time” – the purchase of credit for time not worked.
Twenty-five University of California retirees receive more than $300,000 annually in retirement, the California Policy Center has learned. The information, contained in documents released to CPC through a public records request, comes amidst controversy over excessive compensation at the UC system and revelations of a secret slush fund at the system’s headquarters. CPC’s findings were broadcast by KPIX San Francisco and other CBS affiliates on May 5.
The highest paid pensioner is Professor Lewis L. Judd, a UC San Diego Psychiatry professor. He receives an annual pension of $385,765.
Lewis surpasses previous pension champion, Dr. Fawzy I. Fawzy, a UCLA Psychiatry Professor who retired in 2014 on a $354,469 annual pension. Assuming annual cost of living increases of 2%, Dr. Fawzy is now estimated to be receiving around $369,000 annually. But Fawzy also draws a UC salary, one of several hundred UC retirees brought back to teach after retiring. “Recalled” retirees, such as Fawzy, are eligible to draw both a salary and a pension. Fawzy’s total university income exceeded $650,000 in 2015.
Behind the shocking numbers is a six-month battle with university administrators who tried to block release of compensation. CPC Director of Policy Research Marc Joffe originally sent the UC president’s office a Public Records Act request for pension data in December 2016. After numerous delays and negotiations with CPC General Counsel Craig Alexander, the university released a limited amount of data to Joffe today. CPC made the request in connection with its 100k Pension Club project, a website database that contains a list of 50,000 retired California public sector employees who receive annual pensions greater than $100,000. That website is at http://www.100kclub.com.
Ultimately, UC provided a list of 2015 and 2016 retirees, eight of whom are receiving $300,000 or more. The remaining 17 names were included in UC’s previous pension disclosures, last updated for 2014. UC did not provide precise cost of living adjustments for each retiree. CPC estimated their current pensions by adding 2% per year since their date of retirement.
The complete list appears below:
|Retiree Name||Appointment Type||Last Employer||Annual Pension Benefit||Date of Retirement|
|JUDD, LEWIS L||Teaching Faculty||San Diego||$ 385,765||Jul 1, 2016|
|MATTHEWS, DENNIS L||Non-Teaching Faculty||Davis||370,880||2012|
|FAWZY, FAWZY I||Teaching Faculty||Los Angeles||368,790||2014|
|DE PAOLO, DONALD J||Non-Teaching Faculty||Lawrence Berkeley||359,922||Jul 1, 2016|
|HOLST, JAMES E.||Staff||Los Angeles||358,428||2006|
|RUDNICK, JOSEPH A||Non-Teaching Faculty||Los Angeles||344,925||Jul 1, 2016|
|VAZIRI, NOSRATOLA D||Teaching Faculty||Irvine||340,410||2011|
|GREENSPAN, JOHN S||Teaching Faculty||San Francisco||339,243||2014|
|GRAY, JOE W||Non-Teaching Faculty||Lawrence Berkeley||335,482||2011|
|SCHELBERT, HEINRICH R||Teaching Faculty||Los Angeles||333,247||2013|
|BRESLAUER, GEORGE W||Non-Teaching Faculty||Berkeley||328,476||2014|
|MARSHALL, LAWRENCE F||Teaching Faculty||San Diego||324,067||2010|
|KRUPNICK, JAMES T||Non-Teaching Faculty||Lawrence Berkeley||323,957||2012|
|DISAIA, PHILIP J||Teaching Faculty||Irvine||323,839||2010|
|GRUNSTEIN, MICHAEL||Teaching Faculty||Los Angeles||322,150||Jul 1, 2016|
|SIEFKIN, ALLAN D||Non-Teaching Faculty||Davis||322,101||2014|
|KENNEY, ERNEST B||Teaching Faculty||Los Angeles||320,608||2012|
|DARLING, BRUCE B.||Non-Teaching Faculty||Los Angeles||320,403||2012|
|DONALD, PAUL J.||Teaching Faculty||Davis||317,156||2011|
|CHERRY, JAMES D||Non-Teaching Faculty||Los Angeles||315,449||2013|
|ROLL, RICHARD W||Non-Teaching Faculty||Los Angeles||315,418||2014|
|TILLISCH, JAN H||Non-Teaching Faculty||Los Angeles||311,732||Aug 1, 2016|
|CYGAN, RALPH W||Teaching Faculty||Irvine||306,734||Jul 1, 2015|
|BRAFF, DAVID L||Teaching Faculty||San Diego||306,407||Feb 1, 2015|
|EISENBERG, MELVIN A||Teaching Faculty||Berkeley||305,012||Jan 1, 2015|