We relayed earlier this month that the Sacramento County Employees' Retirement System was ordered by the 3rd District Court of Appeal to release pension data to the Sacramento Bee. While the county’s retirement board voted not to challenge the court’s ruling, a petition has been filed with the appeals court, as the retirement system is seeking permission to withhold certain records. So what exactly is the pension board trying to keep private? Namely a pensioner’s date of retirement, department retired from, last position held and years of service. The Bee reports:
“SCERS argues that this information is confidential, and the court suggests as much in its ruling.
Attorney Karl Olson, who is representing The Bee and the California First Amendment Coalition in the case, said SCERS' request is unnecessary. ‘I think the Court of Appeal's well-crafted decision was very clear about what SCERS was directed to disclose,’ he said. ‘We hope the Court of Appeal will deny SCERS' petition for rehearing and that the records The Bee requested will be made public as soon as possible, so that The Bee can educate its readers about where public money is going.’”
While the retirement board is seeking clarification on how it should follow the court’s orders, it appears the system wants to find a way to keep some data confidential even though the court's definition of private records was quite broad. Other county retirement systems have already recognized that the ruling was significant because it has an impact on their ability to refrain from disclosure. See more here.