Water and Power Employees' Retirement Plan
News from the WPERP
Health Benefits Guide and Newsletter
Click on the link below to access the Ebenefits website.
The website includes the following:
· 2017 Retiree Benefits User’s Guide
· Benefits Newsletter for Retirees
MEMBER ALERT REGARDING ALLEGED PREDATORY PENSION LOAN BUSINESSES
Posted April 10, 2017
Posted April 10, 2017
Persons receiving monthly pensions, including retired members of the Water and Power Employees’ Retirement Plan, may be targeted by salespersons offering immediate cash in exchange for rights to future retirement or disability retirement payments. These pension loans, or “advances,” may be offered with unlawful or unfair terms, including exceedingly high interest rates and fees. Some pension loan agreements may also require borrowers to purchase life insurance with the lender named as the beneficiary.
On February 16, 2017, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer filed a lawsuit against an individual and multiple companies allegedly involved in a predatory lending scheme targeting vulnerable California pensioners.
The City Attorney’s lawsuit alleges that Scott Kohn, the owner and manager of a complex web of companies in California and across the country, including Cash Flow Investment Partners, LLC, Future Income Payments, LLC, London Square Specialty Services, LLC, Buysell Annuity, Inc., Pension Advance, LLC, and PAS California, LLC, marketed and issued predatory loans to retirees in need of money to pay for unexpected expenses, securing the loans with those individuals’ pensions. Among other things, Kohn allegedly charged interest rates as high as 96%, far above California’s 10% usury limit, and allegedly threatened borrowers (falsely) that defaulting on the loans could subject them to criminal liability. According to the lawsuit’s allegations, Kohn also subjects pensioners in default to illegal and harassing debt collection practices, such as repeated telephone calls starting as early as 5:30 a.m.
City Attorney Feuer seeks, among other things, an injunction prohibiting Kohn from collecting on the predatory loans issued to California pensioners, as well as selling unlawful and fraudulent loans to California investors. In addition, the lawsuit seeks restitution for pensioners, as well as civil penalties.
If you or someone you know has been targeted by Scott Kohn or the companies listed above, or by companies who may be engaged in similar predatory pension loan businesses, please contact the Office of the Los Angeles City Attorney at ATTpensions@lacity.org or call (213) 978-3347.
City of Los Angeles Deferred Compensation
Plan October 19-31,
October 19-31, 2015
On June 24, 2015, the Board of Administration (Retirement Board) of the Water and Power Employees’ Retirement Plan (Plan) adopted several resolutions to amend the Plan.
Medical Professionals – Effective June 24, 2015
This amendment expands the list of medical professionals who may provide medical certifications for payment of temporary and extended temporary disability benefits to include: 1) Licensed psychologists; 2) Licensed nurse practitioners; 3) Licensed physician assistants; and 4) Licensed midwives.
Regular Interest Rate – Effective July 1, 2015
This amendment reduces the interest rate credited to members’ contribution accounts from 7.75 percent to 7.5 percent, matching the Plan’s investment return assumptions.
New Mortality Table – Effective May 1, 2016
This amendment changes the mortality table to reflect the longer life expectancy of Plan members.
Click here to learn more about the resolutions to change the Regular Interest Rate, and the New Mortality Tables.
Frequently Asked Questions
2014 National Save for Retirement Week – City of Los Angeles Deferred
AMENDMENT GOES INTO EFFECT ON JANUARY 1, 2014
On December 11, 2013, the Retirement Board took the last action required to adopt a Plan amendment suspending the Reciprocity program with LACERS and creating a new tier of pension benefits for new hires.
DISCREPANCY IN JUNE
2011 RETIREMENT ALLOWANCE
This is to let you know, the Retirement Plan Office is aware of the discrepancy in the YTD fields reflected on your checks. We are in the process of having this fixed. We expect to have the YTD fields adjusted for your July check (payable August 1).
Please be assured that this error will not affect your 1099s.
We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you. If you have any questions, please contact us at:
The Health Plans Office is handling any issues related to your premium and subsidy. The Health Plans Office may be contacted at (213) 367-2023.
Message from Health Plans Office:
For those transitioning to UnitedHealthcare (UHC), you should have received a letter from the Health Plans Office regarding your coverage. You may contact UHC directly beginning July 1, 2011 as follows:
CHANGE IN INTEREST CREDITING
Effective April 2011, Regular and Additional Contributions of members of the Retirement Plan will be credited at 7.75% interest rate instead of the previous 8%. The change in the interest rate is in accordance with a Plan amendment which was needed to reflect the projected future earnings of the Retirement Fund’s investment portfolio.
The change in the interest crediting rate will have no impact on the calculation of formula retirements which are based on highest average salary, years of service, age and the applicable retirement factor. There is minimal impact on the voluntary Additional Annuity program. For more details, please refer to the Summary Plan Description.
Correction to Retired Employees' Association
The 2009 Retired Employees' Association Holiday Party is scheduled for Saturday, December 5, 2009. Seating is limited to those people who have sent in their checks by November 21, 2009.
Effective September 2009, the Retirement Board meetings will be held on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month per Board Resolution Number 10-18 adopted August 19, 2009.
Notice to Retirees
The retirement allowance you received dated April 1, 2009 was based on the new tax withholding tables established by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The new tables reduced the amount of income tax withheld and, as a result, many retirees received a higher net allowance than the previous month. The reduction in withholdings is part of the Making Work Pay credit and other tax changes resulting from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
If you are concerned that the reduced withholding may not cover your taxes for the year, you can increase the amount withheld by either claiming fewer withholding allowances or requesting additional amounts to be withheld. To change your withholding, contact the Retirement Office at (800) 367-7164 to get a new tax withholding card. Fill out the card and send it back to the Retirement Office.
The Water and Power Employees’ Retirement Plan (WPERP) recently underwent a management audit. This audit was completed in accordance with City Charter Section 1112 which requires that the City of Los Angeles conduct a management audit of each of the City’s three pension and retirement systems every five years. The required audit examines whether the pension or retirement system is operating in the most efficient and economical manner and evaluates the asset allocation of the system.
The Controller’s Office released the audit of the Water and Power Employees’ Retirement Plan (WPERP) last week and is available for review at:
The audits of the City’s two other retirement plans were completed last year. All three audits were conducted by the same consultant, Independent Fiduciary Services (IFS).
IFS found the DWP Retirement Plan well-funded and well-managed, but made recommendations for improvements in several areas including governance, investments and training. The Retirement Plan is not obligated to adopt these recommendations; any action taken will only be after thorough review by the WPERP Board of Administration.
The audits for all three City retirement systems also contained recommendations related to combining two or possibly all three of the systems. Any such consolidation would require a change in the City Charter. Before being put on an election ballot, public hearings would be held to determine the merits of the proposal and whether or not it is consistent with state Constitutional protections for retirement systems.