Various Authors noon, Dec. 15
Fiscal Analysis Pokes Holes in Pension Reform Initiative
According to a new report from the city’s Independent Budget Analyst, the Comprehensive Pension Reform initiative now known as Proposition B may not save the city any money.
In June, Prop B will allow San Diegans to decide whether to move city employees from a guaranteed pension to a 401(k)-style plan.
The initiative’s strongest support councilmember Carl DeMaio, along with current mayor Jerry Sanders, and DeMaio’s fellow mayoral candidates Bonnie Dumanis and Nathan Fletcher, all have stated the savings for taxpayers upon Prop B’s implementation will be in the millions.
The report released yesterday however, cast doubts on the proposed savings because it highlights the fact that the ballot measure relies on two major components - potential salary freezes and pension benefit changes.
According to the report, if the city employee salaries are frozen for six years, as of July 1, 2012, the potential savings over 30 years could be as high as $963 million ($581 million when adjusted for inflation).
However, the city may still negotiate salary increases with a 2/3 vote from the city council, which would reduce if not eliminate the projected savings. Implementing the benefit changes is projected to cost the city $13 million over 30 years ($56 million when adjust for inflation).
Additionally, the report highlights an annual increased cost to the city of $54.1 million for fiscal years 2014 through 2016 because of payments it must make to the Unfunded Actuarial Liability (UAL) – aka the $2 billion unfunded pension liability that sparked the outrage for reform.
It also important to note that the city’s contribution rate and cost under the new plan must be negotiated with labor unions before the change occurs.
A detailed outline from the Independent Budget Analyst is available here (scroll to the final two pages).