The Public Retirement Journal and the PERS Public Agency Coalition (The Alert) was founded by past consultants to the Assembly Public Employees Retirement & Social Security Committee, Tom Branan and Dave Cox. They began writing monthly updates on pension legislation in 1990 for local governments who were out of the loop on the latest and greatest pension discussions in Sacramento.
Then, in 2004, Amy Brown and Tom Branan were sharing a beer in an airport bar and a conversation about taking over the Journal happened right then and there – leave it to alcohol to prompt bad decisions.
Branan officially handed over the reigns to Brown in 2005. Brown knew she was in over her head, so she commissioned (read: begged, pleaded, prayed) for Dora Noegel be be a contributor. At the time, Noegel had left PERS’ governmental affairs department to start a family. Noegel reluctantly agreed and the rest is history.
Brown and Noegel spend a significant amount of time keeping up to date on pension and other post employment benefit news throughout the state. In addition to the two monthly publications, the PRJ hosts two seminars per year – one in Northern and one in Southern California, and hosts periodic webinars depending upon demand for a good old fashioned wonkey, jargony power point explanation on issues that are just too dense to simply read.
The Journal is a 12 page monthly newsletter that is heavy on text and light on pictures. It’s a no-nonsense, sarcastic and sometimes funny (we certainly think so) rag that details changes, issues, politics surrounding California’s defined benefit and OPEB plans. It encompasses the full “DB” gamut: the Public Employees Retirement Law (PERL), the 37 Act agency law and anything in between. Our subscribers are public agency managers, employees, union reps and retirees.
The Alert is an eight page monthly newsletter that takes a head dive into the weeds on PERS related issues. If you are a PERS member, retiree, administrator or obsessive follower, you are likely a subscriber.
The Journal, which is printed monthly, provides a very timely source of valuable information and insight into public retirement, health care and related benefits. The Journal seeks out, and interviews, those people shaping public retirement policy and helps our readers understand just what they have planned in this field.
Recent interviews have included Tony Oliveira, the former Contracting Agency Representative to the PERS Board: Karon Green, Chief Consultant to the Assembly Public Employees Retirement & Social Security Committee; Christy Bouma, Legislative Representative of the California Professional Firefighters; Robert Palmer, former President of the State Association of County Retirement Systems; Dave Low, Legislative Advocate for the State School Employees Association; and David Felderstein, former Chief Consultant to the Senate Public Employment & Retirement Committee.
In addition, we regularly have articles which address current health care and retirement issues. For instance, a recent lead articles dealt with the question of how to best provide retirement coverage for part-time employees.