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Pension Update Prompts Call for Options

Audio

Aired 4/20/09

 

The San Diego city council got an update on the state of the pension deficit Monday. The dire forecasts prompted several council members to ask if the payment schedule could be extended further out into the future. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

 

If the market does not pick up before this summer, the city of San Diego could face a pension payment of $250 million next year. That’s $100 million  more than it paid this year. 

 

By law, the pension board is independent of the city. But several councilmembers asked for options to soften the budget blow, such as extending payments beyond the current 20 year schedule. 

Council woman Marti Emeral.

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Emerald: "And even perhaps extend it out further because even if this recession was to bottom out this year and we were to start creeping back up we’re digging a hole between now and then and it certainly would help provide basic services to taxpayers here."

 

About 70 per cent of the money to cover the annual pension payments comes out of the General Fund the city uses to pay for police, fire, libraries and parks.

 

Currently, the pension payments amounts to about 10 per cent of the city’s General Fund.

 

Alison St John, KPBS news.  

 

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