May 19, 2010
CONTACT: Lani Lutar
619-234-6423 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR
619-997-2495 or email@example.com
Pension Reform Efforts Add Up to Real Savings for Taxpayers
Carlsbad and National City the latest to rein in costs, preserving services and saving tax dollars
As a result of Tuesday’s meetings, two National City labor groups will increase their pension contributions. The Carlsbad City Council also approved an increase in pension contributions by firefighters, and imposed reduced pension benefits on firefighters hired after October 4, 2010. Representatives from the San Diego County Taxpayers Association testified in favor of these reforms at both council meetings, and the Association applauds the cities that have made efforts to rein in pension costs.
The San Diego County Taxpayers association conservatively estimates a total of at least $5.65 million in savings to taxpayers from pension reform efforts County-wide since July 2009:
- In addition to Tuesday’s decision, the City of National City has reduced benefits for new police officers and requires all police employees to contribute toward their retirement. Previously they contributed nothing.
- The City of El Cajon will require both nonsafety employees and police management employees to contribute toward their retirement starting in July 2010. Previously, employees contributed nothing. The City of El Cajon has also reduced benefits for new police management hires.
- The City of Escondido now requires firefighters to contribute a share toward their pensions. Previously, firefighters contributed nothing.
- City of Imperial Beach non-safety employees now share in increased pension costs.
- City of La Mesa employees now contribute their full fair and required share toward their pension benefits. Previously, employees contributed nothing.
- Oceanside City Councilmembers and their staff now fully contribute toward their retirement, and members of the Western Council of Engineers labor union contribute more toward their pensions than in the past.
- The City of Poway has saved taxpayers nearly $2 million by paying off their pension liability early.
- The City of Santee now requires all employees to contribute toward their pensions. Their previous contribution: zero.
“These modest, sensible measures make a huge difference to the taxpayers,” said Lani Lutar, SDCTA President & CEO. “Asking employees to contribute a small, reasonable amount to their own pensions along with trimming some benefits adds up. The savings can then be invested in services such as improved public safety protection, infrastructure repair and maintenance, and keeping libraries and parks open longer hours – all without raising taxes to do so.”
“The San Diego County Taxpayers Association commends all of the elected officials and city management staff who have shown leadership in recognizing a need to make these changes. It’s smart fiscal management and we hope to see more of it in the future,” added Lutar.
A copy of SDCTA’s pension reform recommendations and regional pension study can be downloaded from the SDCTA website at this link.
The San Diego County Taxpayers Association is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, dedicated to promoting accountable, cost-effective and efficient government and opposing unnecessary new taxes and fees. Founded in 1945, SDCTA has spent the past 65 years saving the region’s taxpayers millions of dollars, as well as generating information to help educate the public.