Patt Morrison for August 4, 2010

City workers pension plan – bankrupting Peter to pay Paul?

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Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

A series of audits revealed that pensions for city workers could bankrupt Los Angeles

City Administrative Officer, Miguel Santana recently delivered an assessment to members of the City Council detailing how exactly the costs of pensions and health benefits for current and future retiring City workers was going to go from $1.4 billion dollars to $2.2 billion dollars in the next 5 years. The average age of retiring police officers and fire fighters in the city is a young 51 years old and the percentage of the city’s general fund budget that is taken up by funding their retirement is set to go from 8% - 20% So, who answers the call in a fiscal emergency when city negotiators are not legally allowed to roll back a retirement benefit for an existing worker without providing another benefit of equal value? As the costs of benefits continue to increase the Mayor is being joined by four council members to try and get civilian labor unions to renegotiate contracts and change their pension systems and the unions are unsurprisingly pushing back.

Guests:

Bill Rosendahl, Councilman for the 11th district Los Angeles


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