San Diego Council Agrees to Adopt Recommendations

October 6, 2004 ( - San Diego City Council members have unanimously voted to endorse or implement many of the recommendations proposed by the Pension Reform Committee in hopes of rescuing the city's troubled pension plan.

Besides two recommendations that need to be reviewed by city attorneys, the Council has decided to adopt the 17 resolutions proposed by the nine-person committee (See San Diego Pension Reform Committee Releases Recommendations ). Some of the highlights of the recommendations are:

  • the infusion of $600 million into the plan over the next three years, with a minimum of $200 million in the 2005-06 fiscal year.
  • the raising of the retirement age by seven years.
  • halting the funding of payments for retirement health care benefits through the pension plan
  • the elimination of the city’s deferred retirement program.
  • the restructuring of the Retirement Board to exclude city employees, union representatives or participants in the pension system.

These are just the latest efforts in an ongoing campaign to save the faltering pension system. Numerous recommendations have already been advanced by the Council, and two measures have been placed on the ballot regarding how the plan is structured (See San Diego City Council Proposes Pension Reforms ). The Council also agreed to direct the city manager to start discussions with the city’s four labor unions to implement the approved changes.

Appointed last year, the committee had a mandate to offer recommendations on how to fix the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System, which is running a $1.15 billion deficit and has $545 million in unfunded retiree health costs (See San Diego Approves Pension Reform Committee ).