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Number Of City Employees Getting $100k In Retirement Pay Spikes 71 Percent

San Diego city employees reaping more than $100,000 in retirement pay increased 71 percent in 2010 compared to the previous year, a city councilman said today.

"Taxpayers should be outraged" by the increase, which is "offensive" when the city is reducing services and working families are struggling to make ends meet, Councilman Carl DeMaio said.

DeMaio said city payments into the San Diego City Employees Retirement System were "unsustainable" and too great to be offset by spending cuts to services or tax increases.

The Top 25 retirement salaries ranged from $174,200 for an ex-police captain to $304,000 for a retired assistant city attorney. Ten former city employees got more than $211,000 last year. Retired firefighters accounted for 10 of the 25 highest pensions. Five retired police officers were among the top 25.

The names of the retired public employees in the report DeMaio were kept secret. He said his problem was with the system, not retirees.

"The longer we wait, the more individuals are going to retire and receive these payments," DeMaio said. "The sooner you act, the quicker you'll see these payouts return to sustainable levels."

According to DeMaio, the city needs to compute pensions based on an employee's base salary and guard against losses in a deferred retirement plan used by many older employees. The program, known as DROP, will eventually cost the city about $150 million the way it is set up, according to a consultant's report.

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | April 13, 2011 at 12:24 p.m. ― 5 years, 10 months ago

Not only do we have to stop these outrageous pension benefits now, but the people slated to receive them have to accept the fact that they were promised a pension/retirement that the people they served could not afford.

This fact has been known by them and the people who created it for decades. Cops are encouraged to work as many hours as possible their last three years because that's what their retirement pay is based on (the last 3 years of service). Why are they even getting overtime? They should be receiving a flat salary same as the men and women in uniform fighting and defending our nation overseas.

Getting a 401k, mutual funds, Roth IRA is the way of the future. Cops, firemen and women, and other city employees need to embrace this as we have. It's not a question of, "If I can't have a pension you can't." The fact of the matter is that we do not have the money to pay for your retirement.

It comes down to this: do we pay teachers, our mortgage, our children's college loans, and save for our own retirement as well as a paycheck to police, firefighters and other city services, or do we fork over everything to pay their pensions?

I say drop the pensions and let them handle their own retirement. Believe it or not, that is not meant to be mean. It's simply what the future holds. You get a paycheck, be grateful. Take that money and invest like the rest of us.

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