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Grand Jury says public agencies in Santa Barbara County improve ability to meet employee pension fund financial obligations

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A new Santa Barbara County Grand Jury report says the County, and its eight cities have improved the funding situation for their employee pension plan obligations during the last four years.

But, report says there is still room for improvement.

A new Grand Jury report shows that Santa Barbara County, and its eight cities have improved their ability to meet the financial obligations tied to employee pensions.

In 2018, a Grand Jury found that some of the county’s governmental agencies had pension plans which were on shaky financial ground.

The new report says while there are continued risks, the funds appear to be in much better shape, with no immediate concerns..

It notes that some agencies are in better shape than others. The report says Santa Barbara County, as well as the cities of Buellton, Carpinteria, Goleta, Guadalupe, and Solvang are on the most solid ground.

It says Lompoc, Santa Barbara, and Santa Maria are at higher risk levels.

The Grand Jury is recommending that all of the agencies develop and publish plans to show employees their efforts to meet pension obligations, as well as to show the public how they will balance that with the costs of providing public services.