SDCTA supports Carlsbad Charter Amendment to require voter approval for pension benefit increases, 2010

The City of Carlsbad has made tremendous strides in implementing pension reform, serving as a leader for the region. Passage of this proposed measure would require voter approval for pension increases of any employee currently enrolled in a specific retirement benefit formula group (earning 2% of salary for every year of service upon retirement), further strengthening recent reform efforts. This measure is similar to the City of San Diego's 2006 Proposition B which SDCTA supported and voters approved. Proposition B requires voter approval of increases for any employee retirement benefits (for the exception of cost of living adjustments). Our rationale for Proposition B was as follows: "While recognizing that Prop B alone will not solve our pension system problems, this measure allows for additional voter scrutiny that may prevent the City from assuming additional unfunded pension obligations in the future. The measure will provide for disclosure of the actuarial analysis of any potential pension benefit cost increase. This is critical because pension benefits, once approved, create long-term obligations for taxpayers." Carlsbad's proposed measure does not affect benefit components outside of the 2% at 50 formula. Unlike the City of San Diego measure, Carlsbad does not have a provision for the requirement of preparation and publication of an actuarial analysis summary in the voter pamphlet. SDCTA recommends the addition of this provision to improve the ballot measure.

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Rosey Williams