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Pension reform comes to Los Angeles' 2013 mayor's race

Mayoral Candidates

Photos courtesy of candidates' campaigns

Candidates running to be Los Angeles' next mayor, in order from left to right: Wendy Greuel, Kevin James, Jan Perry and Eric Garcetti.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is pushing a pension plan to reform how new city workers receive retirement benefits, but with the mayor termed out in just a year, additional pension efforts will fall to his successor. 

The mayor wants to increase the retirement age for new civilian employees to 67. Under his proposal, which is being considered by the Executive Employee Relations Committee, benefits would be capped at 75 percent of final compensation, and cost of living adjustments would be reduced. Health benefits for retirees’ dependents would be eliminated.

“It’s important for us to finish the structural work, and new employees have certainly been a part of it,” said City Councilman Eric Garcetti, a candidate for mayor.

The Thirteenth District councilman spent six years as council president and was part of negotiations with labor unions that led to a five percent increase in what workers pay toward their pension and health care. Civilians now pay 11 percent toward retirement.