San Diego County Opposes California Pension Overhaul

March 18, 2005 ( - The San Diego County retirement board has voted unanimously against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposal to overhaul the state's defined benefit pension plan.

The county board stated that it was doing “just fine.” Members claimed – basing their analysis on an actuarial report by The Segal Co. – that any move to a defined contribution plan would cost the county government $349 million over the short term. The board also claimed it would not save money over the long run.

“We’re doing just fine, thank you,” said Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister, chairman of the San Diego County Employees Retirement Association board, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. “This system will flourish and continue to do well. There’s no reason to fix something that’s not broken.”

Schwarzenegger’s plan would make it so public employees who started work after mid-2007 would be given defined contribution, as opposed to the current defined benefit, retirement plans. Opponents of the current system have said it puts too much of a drain on the Golden State’s economy.

The San Diego County retirement system has liabilities of $5.2 billion, according to the newspaper, and has an unfunded liability of $1.2 billion. About 33,000 workers are covered by the plan. Under the Governor’s plan, the unfunded liability would be paid off by 2025, according to the newspaper.

Joining the county board in opposing the Governor’s plan arethe Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of San Diego, the Peace Officer Research Association of California and the Service Employees International Union Local 2028, which is the county’s largest union.