Sacramento City Manager Proposes Workers Contribute More to Pensions

January 12, 2012 ( – Sacramento, California’s city manager told city employees more than 100 could lose their jobs unless they contribute more to their pensions.  

According to The Sacramento Bee, City Manager John Shirey told the City Council on Tuesday that half of the city’s budget over the next two years could be eliminated if all of the city’s workers paid their share of their California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) contributions.

According to the new report, a limited amount of rank-and-file workers pick up the entire cost of their pension tabs. Instead the city covers some or all of those payments.

Currently, most rank-and-file workers for the city contribute 4% of their salaries towards their retirements, while the city pays the remaining 3% of the employee’s 7% share. This amount does not include the city’s employer contributions on their behalf.

According to the news report, Shirely said the city’s $24.5 million deficit over the next two years could be addressed by laying off 240 workers. This would include 89 police officers, 51 firefighters and 22 park workers. However, he said he did not think it was a good idea and was not recommending the City Council go this route. However, he did say that if the city worker’s labor unions declined the pension givebacks the city would have no choice but to layoff workers.