1360 Van Ness Ave, Fresno, CA 93721
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A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

This section contains the latest news from Eric Schmidt, President of the Fresno Deputy Sheriff's Association, as well as an archive of past newsletters.
A Message from the President, February 2020
On January 9, 2020 during the PORAC Board of Directors meeting, President Brian
Marvel appointed me to the Peace Officer Standard and Training Advisory Committee
as a sitting member for PORAC. The POST Advisory Committee performs a key role as
part of the Commission’s team by providing a two-way communication link between the
Commission and organizations that share an interest in the Commission’s work. The
committee meets prior to each triannual Commission meeting to review and analyze
topics the Commission will later address. Advisory Committee members represent
associations and organizations within the California law enforcement community,
educators, and the public-at-large. Therefore, they provide valuable input on many
contemporary and evolving issues in law enforcement, helping the Commission and
POST better serve California's peace officers and the citizens they protect. Appointed
by the Commission for a term of three-years, Committee members receive no
compensation but are the stakeholders that give a considerable amount of input to the
Commissioners when decisions are rendered. I attended my first meeting on February
12, 2020 in San Diego. This was an eye-opening experience as to the discussions that
go on regarding POST training, and all the logistics that go into that. I look forward to
serving PORAC and all of you with this group and will be reporting back to the
membership regarding topics that were taken up during the committee. Decisions
rendered at the POST Commission will be reported back as well.
 
One topic of discussion during the February 12th meeting was the dispatch academy
and how a change is looking to be made in regards to attendance of this training. This
topic has been discussed a couple different times during meetings with Sheriff’s Admin
in regards to how we are sending people to the POST Dispatch Academy.
A proposal that was made by POST administration, was to require the dispatch
academy before the new hire (dispatcher) reports to their respective dispatch center.
There was a good discussion and much concern over making a change of that nature.
There were challenges addressed when making a change like this. The lack of
dispatcher candidates statewide makes this an issue right out of the gate. Followed by
the failure rates statewide for dispatcher’s going through the different dispatcher training
programs.
 
Suggestions coming from the discussion was staggering the training since it is 120
hours in segments. Maybe doing a week after a couple months of exposure, then
completing the remainder of it (80 hours) after the dispatcher has completed their
respective training program. There are a variety of ways it can be broken down as far as
the hours. I have reached out to our own dispatchers along with FPD dispatchers and
have asked for input on this issue so that I can be prepared at our next meeting in June
to represent our respective groups in this region. Unknown at this time what direction
this will go.
 
Update to the Pension System in California
I recently received a publication from PORAC President, Brian Marvel, from the coalition
Californians For Retirement Security which PORAC is a part of, and all of us have
contributed to the pension reform fund currently being held by PORAC. These are
interesting facts that are being represented by CALPERS – but are very consistent with
our Fresno County Employee Retirement Association (FCERA).
 
I get briefed quite often by Deputy John Robinson, who sits as a Trustee on the FCERA
board which oversees your pension system. John has been sitting on the FCERA board
for over two years. John’s tenure came around the same time as some of the newer
trustees. Many new decisions have been made since that time. The Pension Fund has
seen tremendous growth, even with increased retirements, which have spiked monthly
payroll to over $25 million.
 
Due to a variety of factors that include retirements, new hires, low inflation, thriving
markets on Wall Street, and a new investment strategy - I have listed below the amount
employees will be paying into their pension starting July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.
 
See Table Below
 
 
Current Ave Rates %
 
July 1, 2020
General Tier 1 (0)
 
9.88%
 
9.88%
General Tier 2 (-0.21)
 
7.10% 
 
6.89%
General Tier 3 (-0.01)
 
8.00% 
 
7.99%
General Tier 4 (+0.15)
 
7.08% 
 
7.23%
General Tier 5 (+0.13)
 
7.17% 
 
7.30%
Safety Tier 1 (-0.78)
 
13.31% 
 
12.53%
Safety Tier 2 (-0.24)
 
11.64% 
 
11.40%
Safety Tier 4 (+0.14)
 
10.08% 
 
10.22%
Safety Tier 5 (+0.04)
 
11.92% 
 
11.96%
 
 
As you can see from the above table – the pension system is doing very well with very
little increase to employee cost, or even a reduction to the employees in some of the
groups.
 
BOTH CalPERS AND CalSTRS ARE IN SOUND FISCAL SHAPE
CalSTRS and CalPERS are strong. Their cash flow is positive and their funded status
is improving. CalPERS' market value reached $400 billion in January 2020, reaching
a new landmark and reflecting a doubling of the fund's portfolio from 10 years ago.
The fund's market value has grown by $27 billion in the last six months. That's more
than it grew in the entire fiscal year that ended June 30, 2019, when it gained $18
billion in value. CalSTRS has holdings of nearly $224 billion, also nearly double that of
10 years ago.
 
UNFUNDED LIABILITY IS ONLY ONE MEASUREMENT OF PENSION SYSTEM
HEALTH
Just looking at “unfunded liability” ignores important sources of system strength.
According to a recent UC Berkeley study, it serves “not only to exaggerate the
problems facing pension funds, but also provides a poor guide to addressing those
problems.” Yet some politicians cite “unfunded liabilities” when they’re looking for an
excuse to break their promise to police officers, firefighters, nurses, teachers,
librarians and other public employees.
 
Pension systems are long-term, perpetual entities. Like a home mortgage, there is a
long-term liability, but the bill is not due immediately. Pensions are pre-funded with
both employer and employee contributions, and the investment returns those
contributions generate. Like the rest of us, pension systems suffered during the Great
Recession, but now they’re rebounding.
 
PENSIONS PROVIDE MODEST RETIREMENT SECURITY FOR CALIFORNIA’S
PUBLIC SERVANTS
At CalPERS, the average pension for retirees is $35,748 per year. A new retiree who
just retired in fiscal year 2017-18 receives $40,596 per year. Overall, 63 percent of all
CalPERS retirees receive less than $3,000 a month. And only 3.6 percent of
CalPERS retirees receive pensions of $100,000 per year or more -- these retirees are
usually executives who hold seats in either city or county offices, or are physicians, or
are senior managers for fire and police departments.
 
Unlike the private sector, about 33 percent of CalPERS members and retirees don’t
participate in Social Security for benefits, so their CalPERS pension may be their sole
source of retirement income.
 
The average retirement age for all retirees is nearly age 60, while the average years
of service is more than 20.
 
TAXPAYERS DON’T PAY FOR THE BULK OF PENSIONS
Some people believe that taxpayers fund the total cost of public pensions. This is
not true. At CalPERS, the largest contribution comes from investment return dollars,
with additional, ongoing funding from employer and employee contributions.
Workers currently contribute up to 15.25 percent of their paychecks to help fund
their own pensions.
 
In other words, 71 cents out of every public employee pension dollar is funded by
CalPERS' own investment earnings and member contributions. In the fiscal year
ended June 2019, CalPERS paid out nearly $24.2 billion in pension benefits.
Public workers' contributions to our pension systems have been increasing. During
the last 20 years, contributions from public workers accounted for about 13 percent of
the system's benefit payments, while contributions from the state made up about 29
percent. The remaining payments have come from CalPERS' investment earnings.
 
In recent years, state workers have been moving closer to a 50/50 split in contributing
to their pensions along with their employers. The state's estimated contribution for the
present fiscal year is about $5.9 billion, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom's recent
budget proposal.
 
Pension “reforms” passed by a bipartisan majority in the Legislature and signed by
Governor Jerry Brown took effect in January 2013. These changes increased the
retirement age for new employees depending on their job, capped the annual payouts
at $132,120, eliminated numerous abuses of the system, and required workers who
were not contributing half of their retirement costs to pay more. CalPERS estimates it
will save between $42 billion and $55 billion over 30 years while CalSTRS pegged its
savings at $22.7 billion over 30 years from these changes.
 
The Pension discussion will continue to go on for a number of years. There are people
who don’t like the fact that public employees receive a pension after putting in years of
service to an agency. Groups like FDSA, PORAC, etc are the ones continuing to
identify and push back on these discussions ensuring the promises made at the
bargaining table are upheld at the term of retirement. Rest assured, at the end of your
career, you can expect this pension to be there for you and your family. We work hard
daily, to ensure this comes to fruition for you and your family and those promises are
upheld.
 
Any questions you may have regarding pensions, never hesitate to ask.
Take care and stay safe!
-Eric Schmidt
A Message from the President, January 2020

Happy New Year 2020 to all of you. Things have started off on the right foot at the FDSA. Our website is up and running, along with the app that is compatible with both Apple and Android phones. This is the best and easiest way to stay connected with your hours, wages and working conditions. Those of you who are using it, if you see improvements that can be made please let us know so those improvements can be made. We will consult with the creator of the website and make this a user-friendly system that has little to no glitches moving forward.  I have also opened up the availability to sign up for the website up the chain of command so communication is seamless. This is important for member communication along with staying connected to the many community support events and partnerships we have throughout the Fresno community. 

We have finally launched the flooring project at the FDSA. This project has been a few years in the planning process. We wanted to ensure the best product for years to come and limit member’s dues paying for the project. I am happy to say, this project will not be using any membership money to fund. Proceeds from Uptown Bar and Grill and some community donations will help fund this project! This flooring will transform the FDSA building and complete the final phase of the remodel phase that was started in 2010. I know this sounds like a long process (10 years) – but the FDSA Board of Directors direction was not to use any member dues to do this. From building rentals and other fundraising sources, we have built up our reserves to make the improvement. 

I will be taking a by-law proposal to the FDSA Board of Directors to lower the Member Rate when renting the FDSA building for an event. Currently the rate is $350 to rent the building. I will be asking it to be lowered to $250 for a member event. Different factors play into the reduction, but I think it is warranted. My hope is this will get more member involvement and the ability to rent a building that is owned by your association. Many of you already do utilize it and have had several events here over the years.

 

Aflac for PORAC 

Fresno Deputy Sheriff’s Association

Welcoming in the new year of 2020, our PORAC AFLAC agent, Jamie Amstutz will be available for all Fresno Deputy Sheriff’s Association Members: 

Wednesday, February 19th from 7:00 am and throughout the day between and for all briefings.

Location: Area 2 Substation – 5717 E. Shields, Fresno, CA

  • All Association members are eligible for AFLAC benefits at PORAC rates.
  • If you would like to set up a meeting at a specific time, please contact Jamie in advance.
  • We now also have Online enrollment available through EVERWELL (Telephonic Enrollment with Jamie)
  • Feel free to contact Jamie with any questions regarding claims, changes, signing up…

Jaime was at the FDSA during shift signups, but wanted to come back and make this available to all members. Lt. Curtice has opened up Area Two all day to host the AFLAC signups.  No need to RSVP – just show up!
 

Accident AdvantageCovers you and family for accidents, on or off the job!

  • First visit increased to $125-$205 depending on provider (previous plans $120).
  • Includes specific-sum injury benefits based upon severity, cash for major tests, physical therapy, ambulance, appliances, and more.
  • Includes an annual wellness benefit of $60 once per Calendar year.
  • NEW – Organized Sporting Activities Benefit. Adds 25% to total benefit, max of $1000 per year. 
  • NEW – Home Modification Benefit - $3,000
  • Monthly premiums start at $26.91 – Option 3 or $30.94 – Option 4 

AfLac Cancer Protection Assurance – Level 2 Pays cash benefits at a time when needed most 

  • Receive $4,000 for the first occurrence of cancer, plus the benefit builds by an additional $500 per year prior to first occurrence.
  • Covers children at no extra cost!
  • Cash benefits for radiation, chemo, second-surgical opinions and much more. 
  • Wellness incentives $75, once per year for certain cancer screening tests.
  • Monthly premiums start at $40.36

Critical Care Protection – Option 3  - Pays first occurrence, hospital & continuing care;

  • Pays $7,500 upon the first incident (increase of $2,500), benefit builds by an additional $500 per year prior to first occurrence. 
  • Also pays a higher reoccurrence benefit for additional events (from $2,500 to $3,500) 
  • Added Tier 1 and Tier 2 Specified Heart Surgery Benefits
  • ICU for any reason
  • Monthly premiums are based upon age at enrollment, starting as low as $20.15
  • (lower cost from previous plan, for enrollment prior to age 46)

Hospital Choice – Option 1 - Help close the gap on high deductibles, co-pays, and other unexpected costs:

  • Flexible Hospitalization Confinement benefit, Rehabilitation, Short Stay and Emergency room benefits.
  • Extended Benefits: Physician visit benefits, Labs and X-rays, Diagnostic and Imaging benefits, Ambulance
  • Hospital and Surgical Care: Surgical benefits, Invasive Diagnostic Tests, Physician ICU, Daily Confinement and Second Surgical Opinion Benefits.
  • Monthly premiums start at $47.97

 

Please feel free to contact Jamie Amstutz at 858-344-4331 with any questions you may have.  You may also email Jamie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Download my app to easily connect with me on the go! Text Jamie Amstutz to 36260

Morgan Stanley will be at Area Two as well during the same time as Aflac. Heath Seltzer has attached a brief description of what he does and how he can help FDSA members with their future planning. Heath offers a variety of financial options for members who are ready to start investing into their future. If you haven’t thought about wealth management and planning for the future – it may be worth five minutes to discuss some options with Heath than can benefit you and your family. 

Wealth planning. It all starts with one meeting.

Heath Seltzer & Kevin Wright are Financial Advisors at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and provide Retirement Planning Services to 170+ police and fire families.   They provide complimentary retirement planning consultations and written Financial Plans to help each family map out their retirement spending including pension, deferred comp, IRA, and other investment accounts.  

Swing by anytime on 2/19/2020 between 7am – 10pm for a complimentary consultation to see if your retirement is on track.  Feel free to bring statements for a more in-depth discussion.  You can also email Heath/Kevin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to schedule a call or meeting.

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