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Pension Board Vote Blows $20 Million Hole In San Diego's Budget

San Diego's City Hall.
City of San Diego
San Diego's City Hall.
Pension Board Vote Blows $20 Million Hole In San Diego's Budget
After the board that manages retirement in San Diego failed to get enough votes to freeze pensions, the city budget suddenly comes up short.

In May, the city and its unions came to an agreement to freeze employees' pensionable pay for five years. That freeze would have generated $20 million.

But last Friday, the 13-person San Diego City Employees' Retirement System board couldn’t muster the votes to solidify the deal.

That sum was supposed to pay for things such as police recruitment, but now that likely will be stalled. The city wanted to add two recruits to the upcoming class, bumping up the number from 34 to 36.


Also off the table are extended library hours for San Diego that were accounted for in the budget but are now no longer funded.

Perhaps the biggest chunk was $10 million in pay hikes for city staff. That money that will possibly come out of the city's reserves.

The bigger implication in all of this is, for months, the city has lauded itself for having a balanced budget that could fund these extra programs. That claim no longer stands.