Some cities outsource their highest pension costs

Dozens of cities, many of them formed in recent decades, do not directly pay police and firefighter pension rates. They get their safety services though contracts with county sheriff departments and large fire districts.

An example is Lake Forest, a community in Orange County formerly known as El Toro, which incorporated in 1991 and had a population of 77,264 in the last census. It’s one of the 14 cities listed by CalPERS as having a fully funded pension plan.

The CalPERS employer contribution for Lake Forest’s non-safety or “miscellaneous” employees is not a heavy lift — 10.4 percent of pay for most employees next fiscal year and 7 percent of pay for employees hired after a cost-cutting state reform on Jan. 1, 2013.

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