AirTalk for September 19, 2012

L.A. City Council considers new pension plan that raises retirement age and cuts pension benefits

Los Angeles City Hall

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Los Angeles City Hall

Following Governor Brown’s signing of state pension reform legislation last week, the Los Angeles City Council is considering a plan for cutting pension benefits of newly hired civilian employees, which half a dozen unions will likely oppose.

City administrative Officer Miguel Santana, a top budget official at City Hall, released the proposal yesterday (Tuesday) suggesting the normal retirement age be raised from 55 to 65 and that maximum pensions be reduced from 2.16 percent of a worker’s salary, multiplied by the number of years worked, to 2 percent. Santana stated the changes would save up to $70 million within five years and as much as $309 million over a decade. The retirement ages for newly hired police officers and firefighters would not be changed under the proposal.

The newly announced plan has already been denounced by Bob Schoonover, president of the Service Employees International Union Local 721, who said his organization was even prepared to go to court to fight it.

How fair or unfair is it to require newly hired civilian employees to wait until the age of 65 to retire?

Guests:

Dennis Zine, Los Angeles City Councilmember, District 3

Julie Butcher, senior organizer for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) local 721

Frank Stoltze, KPCC Reporter


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