David N. Ream Retains Top Spot Among Orange County CalPERS Retirees

Happy retirement, it's a gold Rolex!
Happy retirement, it's a gold Rolex!

Good news, bad news for retired Santa Ana city manager David N. Ream in previously-unseen 2015 pension payout data from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS).

Ream, who served as city manager from 1986 through 2011, had his annual retirement compensation drop about $7,000 from the previous year.

However, the $263,202 Ream received in 2015 still made the retired chief executive the top Orange County CalPERS recipient.

Ream was followed by former Anaheim city manager James Ruth ($249,851) and former Newport Beach fire chief Timothy Riley ($244,904), according to the CalPERS numbers crunched by Transparent California, a project the nonpartisan Nevada Policy Research Institute free-market think tank.

Transparent California notes that Ream’s benefit was the 17th largest regular benefit of any CalPERS member, excluding those with one-time only settlement amounts. When compared only to other retirees from California cities, Ream, Ruth and Riley’s payouts were the eighth, 12th and 15th highest statewide respectively.

More than 625,000 records obtained via public records requests reveal that 1,495 Orange County retirees collected an annualized benefit worth at least $100,000, an 11 percent increase from last year’s report, according to the nonprofit.

Other Transparent California findings:

* The Orange County cities with at least 20 full-career retirees that had the highest average full-career pensions for safety officers were: Costa Mesa ($122,870), which was the 12th highest statewide; Irvine ($119,281) the 17th highest in California; and Newport Beach ($116,326), the 23rd highest in the Golden State.

* At 60.3 percent of pay, Newport Beach’s retirement costs for safety officers was the second highest statewide, representing a 29 percent year-over-year increase, the largest statewide.

* The cost for Newport Beach’s non-safety employees increased 31 percent, also a statewide high.

* Costa Mesa followed closely behind with a 59.7 percent rate for fire officers and 55.6 percent for police officers, the fourth and sixth highest rates.

* Santa Ana’s 54.4 percent rate for safety officers was the seventh highest of any California city enrolled in CalPERS.

* A recent examination of the Orange County Employees’ Retirement System found the top 2015 payout went to Gary Streed, formerly of the Sanitation District ($263,545).

* Next is Lynn Hartline, ex of the Department of Education ($260,427).

*Third highest went to county government retiree Michael Schumacher ($259,204).

To view the entire dataset in a searchable and downloadable format, visit TransparentCalifornia.com.

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