SD Attorney Aguirre Again Suggests Pension Credit Sellback

March 8, 2006 ( - San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre this week encouraged city employees to sell back pension service credits they recently purchased in transactions the lawyer has deemed to be illegal.

Aguirre wants them to convert the credits back to cash and to put the money into their 401(k) savings plans, according to the San Diego Union Tribune. Workers had been allowed to pick up as many as five years of extra service to be counted toward their retirement plan benefits.

All in all, about 3,000 employees bought more than 13,000 years of service credits, worth about $121 million, Aguirre said.

He said the pension service credit program was devised to address a “liquidity problem” in the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System, according to the newspaper, and that service credits contributed to the “very substantial long-term liabilities” in the city’s pension system.

San Diego’s pension system is saddled with an estimated $1.4 billion deficit. Aguirre made a similar request for city employees to turn over their pension service credits last year and was largely rebuffed (See San Diego City Attorney Calls Pension Credit Purchase Illegal ).