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Voters To Decide On San Diego Pension Reform

Above: San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio

Aired 11/9/11 on KPBS Midday Edition.


Carl De Maio, San Diego City Councilmember


The plan to end guaranteed pensions for most San Diego city workers has qualified for the June 2012 ballot. The plan, first put forward by Mayor Jerry Sanders and Councilman Kevin Fauconer, has become the central theme of another councilman's bid for Mayor. Carl De Maio worked hard to get this initiative to qualify for the ballot, he's in studio to explain what comes next.

The city clerk's office said Tuesday that election officials estimated nearly 116,000 valid signatures had been submitted to put the measure to voters—well above the required 94,000.

The initiative would replace guaranteed pensions with 401k accounts for new hires except police officers. It would also curb pension payments for all employees.

Mayor Jerry Sanders says the measure could make San Diego a national model. Municipal labor unions are adamantly opposed.

San Diego's faces a $2.1 billion unfunded pension liability—a growing deficit that regularly threatens city services.

San Diego City Employees' Retirement System Study

City News Service contributed to the information in this report.

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