City after city, county after county and even the union owned Guv Brown realize that the pension system is collapsing government (which may not be a bad idea).

“San Jose has plenty of company in the most populous U.S. state when it comes to pension politics. San Francisco voters, for instance, earlier this month backed Mayor Ed Lee’s plan for tackling the city’s rising pension costs and its goal of saving up to $1.3 billion over 10 years.

Lee’s plan will have city employees put more of their pay toward their pensions, an approach many other local governments across California have been adopting.

Reed’s plan would give current San Jose employees the option of putting more of their pay toward their pensions or accepting less generous retirement packages that preserve what they have already accrued.

By contrast, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders is seeking a break from traditional pensions with plan for a ballot measure next June that would put new city workers, excluding police officers, into defined-contribution retirement plans similar to private-sector 401(k)s.”

Unless government, at all levels controls the sweetheart pension system negotiated by unions, cops, firefighters, libraries, parks and more, GONE. We can payoff the unions or we can have government services–not both.

Showdowns loom in California over public pensions
By Jim Christie, Reuters, 11/23/11

There’s no avoiding a ballot showdown over paring public employee pensions in California’s third-largest city, its mayor said on Wednesday.

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed told Reuters by telephone he has enough backing from city council members to put his plan for cutting about $100 million a year in pension expenses over two decades to city voters next March.

The council is expected to vote on December 6 on advancing the plan to the ballot. That will involve declaring a fiscal emergency for Silicon Valley’s biggest city, whose unionized employees have been tangling with Reed’s administration over its plans to rein in rising pension costs.

Those costs have become a growing concern for local and state governments across the nation as they contend with lean revenues that opened massive budget gaps, requiring steep spending cuts for public services and putting tens of thousands of government workers in unemployment lines.

Reed said he also expects a landslide victory at the polls for his pension overhaul plan.

“It’ll be in front of voters in March and they will give us enough time to get it place to save money for the next fiscal year,” he said. “Anybody who’s done any polling knows it’s 70 percent ‘yes.’”

PENSION BATTLES SPREAD

San Jose has plenty of company in the most populous U.S. state when it comes to pension politics. San Francisco voters, for instance, earlier this month backed Mayor Ed Lee’s plan for tackling the city’s rising pension costs and its goal of saving up to $1.3 billion over 10 years.

Lee’s plan will have city employees put more of their pay toward their pensions, an approach many other local governments across California have been adopting.

Reed’s plan would give current San Jose employees the option of putting more of their pay toward their pensions or accepting less generous retirement packages that preserve what they have already accrued.

By contrast, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders is seeking a break from traditional pensions with plan for a ballot measure next June that would put new city workers, excluding police officers, into defined-contribution retirement plans similar to private-sector 401(k)s.

Meanwhile, Riverside County officials have opted against ballot measures aimed at pensions.

As San Jose’s city council on Tuesday received a city manager’s report backing a ballot measure — to avoid, the report said, having to balance the city’s books by closing libraries and deeper cuts to police and fire department staffing levels — Riverside County imposed pension changes for roughly a third of its employees.

UNILATERAL ACTION

Riverside County now will give new non-safety employees less generous benefits and have existing non-safety employees pay 3 percent of salary toward their pensions. That will increase to 8 percent in the county’s 2013-2014 fiscal year.

The county’s non-safety employees pay 8 percent of salary to their pensions during their first five years of service. The county pays that share for the remainder of their careers.

The county’s action follows pension changes imposed on its management employees and sheriffs’ department and is aimed at helping close an expected $80 million budget gap, said Bob Buster, chairman of the county’s board of supervisors.

“We’re running out of time,” he said. “If we don’t get savings we could have significant layoffs … The walls have closed in on us.”

California’s pension politics are also playing out at the state level. Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, has unveiled a plan for “hybrid” pensions combining traditional pensions, Social Security and 401(k)-like accounts. He also wants government workers to pay half the cost of pensions and would raise retirement ages for most new employees to 67 from 55.

Republicans are seeking to put a pension measure on the November 2012 ballot. They unveiled two measures and want to put the most promising one to voters. The measures have some features in common with Brown’s plan but would have public employees fund unfunded liabilities of their pension plans.

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April 19, 2014 at 1:30 am

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Richie

I hardly drop comments, but I browsed some remarks on this page Showdowns loom in CA over public pensions
as State and local gov

April 17, 2014 at 3:32 pm

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Dacia

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April 17, 2014 at 3:05 pm

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Linda

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April 17, 2014 at 12:43 pm

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Scrackup

Cash all the pensions out NOW!
Eliminate the Public Employees Pension system entirely.
Or…
Continue to feed Pension Money to an international cabal of foriegn banker Psychopaths, and fiduciary criminals.

Sociopaths, Malignants, Psychopaths, and Megalomaniacs…
Know their pathology, or be their victim.

May 31, 2012 at 3:34 pm

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Cathy West

Mayor Sanders had absolutely nothing to do with S.D. City’s “pension reform”. 5th District Council-Member, Carl DeMaio designed, created ‘pension reform’ as part of the Future of our beautiful city for 5 years out. Now candidate for Mayor of San Diego – DeMaio has placed his “Road to Recovery” before the citizens. ‘Pension Reform was a separate measure qualified by city residents circulating as volunteers… the needed reform to be placed on the ballot. The citizen’s Referendum for ‘pension reform’ qualified for the June 5 Primary. The ‘greater number, union dominated city council made the decision, against the citizens of our City to move the ‘pension reform’ to November 6 costing citizens several millions of their dollars. The union dominated, employees and designated attorneys with administration attempted every possible quise to thrwart the citizens of San Diego. The Twarting arrived from the Unions through the seats bought with union money. Remember: In a closed-shop union government employee system wages are taxpayer money; dues are taxpayer money; administration receives tacxpayer money to use for attorneys and for 100% of ALL BENEFITS – member as dues and administrator with all substructure employees!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Carl’s with the citizen’s complete support.. changes to the other kinds of reform mention in your article. Carl is the First — and Only Leader who not only wrote and designed an equitbale reduction in the union’s power and control over city government but also designed a way to continue to work together in ‘Open Competition’ with private sector business for the services. Carl is probably the ONLY candidate for any elected office from mosquito abatement to President of U.S. who is actually addressing recovery as inherent to “future” of the City. Carl has no intentions of going beyond Mayor. The office is not a stepping stone nor does he plan to hide behind anyone, or support with bias one interest over another as the road to status quo with Unions of his opposition “Filner” the partner of closed-shop Union power and control

January 19, 2012 at 3:18 pm

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Richard Kossler

I say all CA citizens agree to a %50 state income tax increase to pay for the govt. employee’s salaries and pensions. We need to make sure that CA is not only Number 1 in taxes, but Number 1 to the 10th degree.

December 2, 2011 at 4:05 am

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patty

Until the elephant in the room is addressed (Police & Fire) the pension system will never become stable .I recommend that non sworn and all other public employees have their own seperate retirement plan like the teachers Calstrs. Police & Fire suck all the oxygen out of the room. They are the ones with 3% @ 50 & free medical. They use up all the funds whille everyone else suffers.

November 27, 2011 at 9:07 pm

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