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As promised, legal challenges to San Diego’s Proposition B, dubbed “Comprehensive Pension Reform,” have begun to surface from labor.

Ann Smith, an attorney for the San Diego Municipal Employees Association, has asked San Diego Superior Court Judge Luis Vargas to delay implementation of the plan until negotiations on how to implement the plan, which passed by a large margin with the San Diego electorate, until details could be worked out on how to eliminate pension benefits for new hires and transition them instead into a 401(k)-style defined contribution plan.

City attorney Jan Goldsmith, however, wants the changes to be put into effect immediately upon certification of the election results, which should come next month. The Municipal Employees Association says a full plan could be brought to the city council for approval by late October.

The changes in retirement benefits for new hires would affect all public employees with the exception of police officers. Current employees would also be subject to a five year freeze on pensionable pay, thus lowering the benefits they would be able to receive in retirement. This pay freeze has been identified as the sole source of savings by many, including the Voice of San Diego, who also reported yesterday that mayoral hopeful Bob Filner has backed off his alternate proposal to fix the city’s pension woes, saying instead he would honor the will of the voters by embracing the voter mandate to eliminate pensions altogether going forward.

There is still the question of whether former Chief of Police Jerry Sanders and Prop B co-supporter/Filner opponent Carl DeMaio were acting as private citizens or elected officials when pushing for the ballot measure, which unions decried as an end-run around state labor laws that require officials to bargain in good faith over pay and benefit issues.

After hearing two hours of arguments regarding the delay in Prop B’s implementation, Vargas declined to make an immediate decision, preferring instead to issue a written statement at some point in the future.

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Comments

AlMoncrief July 31, 2012 @ 6:24 p.m.

PROOF THAT COLORADO’S GOVERNMENT LIES: COLORADO PERA’S ATTEMPT TO TAKE CONTRACTED RETIREE BENEFITS.

You may know that an entity of Colorado state government, Colorado PERA, is attempting to breach its public pension contracts with its retirees. Colorado PERA is attempting a retroactive taking, a “clawback” of accrued, fully-vested pension benefits that were earned by retired PERA members over decades.

In its attempt to breach retiree contracts Colorado PERA has created a contrivance. The contrivance that Colorado PERA is using is that somehow the “base benefit” is a contractual obligation, but the “COLA benefit” is not a contractual obligation, in spite of the fact that both pension benefits are set forth in law in an identical manner.

Whether or not Colorado PERA’s attempt to take fully-vested public pension benefits from PERA retirees is ultimately successful in the courts, one fact has been incontrovertibly established . . . Colorado PERA, as an instrumentality of the State of Colorado, is an organization that will lie to achieve its policy goals.

And now, the proof of the deceit . . .

Colorado PERA has told us, in writing, that the PERA COLA benefit IS a contractual obligation of PERA . . . and then, after initiating their attempt to breach contracts, Colorado PERA has told us, in writing, that the PERA COLA benefit IS NOT a contractual obligation of PERA. Both of these statements cannot be true.

Colorado PERA in a written document, to the Colorado General Assembly’s Joint Budget Committee on December 16, 2009 states that the PERA COLA benefit IS a contractual obligation of PERA:

“The General Assembly cannot decrease the COLA (absent actuarial necessity) because it is part of the contractual obligations that accrue under a pension plan protected under the Colorado Constitution Article II, Section 11 and the United States Constitution Article 1, Section 10 for vested contractual rights.”

Link:

http://www.kentlambert.com/Files/PERA_JBC_Hearing_Responses-12-16-2009_Final.pdf

Colorado PERA on page 23 of its May 6, 2011 “Reply Brief” in the pension case Justus v. State states that the PERA COLA benefit IS NOT a contractual obligation of PERA:

“Plaintiffs seek to create a contract right that has never existed—an unchangeable COLA for life triggered (inconsistently) by either the date of their retirement or ‘full vesting.’”

Link:

http://saveperacola.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/2011-05-06-pera-defendants_-reply-in-support-of-summary-judgment.pdf

That is simply unbelievable.

When PERA writes that they need "actuarial necessity" to take the COLA benefit, they are not denying that it is a contractual obligation, in fact, it is an admission of the contractual nature of the COLA benefit.

For further information regarding Colorado PERA’s attempt to take fully-vested pension benefits from retirees visit saveperacola.com or Friend Save Pera Cola on Facebook.

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SurfPuppy619 July 31, 2012 @ 9:16 p.m.

Al, the union puppet who spams his same cut and paste talking point post on every website west of CO.

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