The Pension Reform Committee on Tuesday supplemented some of its already controversial recommendations with a fiscal road map for how the city can pull itself out from under more than $1.167 billion in unfunded liabilities.
Citing concerns about conflicts of interest that may have helped cause a crisis in the city's pension fund, the city's Pension Reform Committee voted Tuesday to ask that San Diego voters have the chance to oust union leaders, retirees and city employees from the retirement system's board of administration.
The San Diego City Employees' Retirement System needs to transfer $2.7 million to an internal account of the San Diego Unified Port District, according to a report issued by the pension fund's staff.
San Diego City Employees' Retirement System Board President Frederick W. Pierce IV condemned as "terribly misleading" recently released reports that the pension fund he helps oversee is drowning in liabilities largely due, not to the stock market but, to benefit increases, skewed assumptions and deliberate underfunding.
Retirees -- including San Diego city pensioners -- may be suffering because of a legal, but troubling, information gap in which conflicts of interest can arise.
Contingent benefits -- those that retirees can't necessarily rely on -- flowed freely in recent years and added potentially hundreds of millions to the $1.167 billion deficit the city's pension system faces, according to reports provided to the Pension Reform Commission Tuesday.
In a direct contradiction to many recent assurances from public officials, documents revealed to the city's Pension Reform Committee indicate that past and present actions by city leaders -- and not the stock market -- are responsible for most of the of the massive debt in San Diego's retirement system.
In front of the City Council on Monday, April Boling, chairwoman of San Diego's Pension Reform Committee, defended her group's recommendation that the city contribute about $72 million more to its pension fund this year than it was planning.
After promising months ago in his State of the City address that he would implement his Pension Reform Committee's recommendations when they came, San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy, along with some members of the City Council, appear likely to disregard the first one.
San Diego city leaders wondered aloud Wednesday where the Pension Reform Committee expected them to find an extra $80 million.
The only member of the pension board to dissent in its vote to settle a major lawsuit said Friday that the agreement would not prevent the long-term crisis the system is facing.
San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy promised not to lay off firefighters and policemen to do it, but starting this summer -- as the result of a tentative settlement announced Thursday -- the city will somehow have to inject tens of millions of dollars into its pension system.
As San Diego struggles with its under-funded pension system, The Daily Transcript will continue to provide comprehensive and timely coverage of the issue. Find the latest articles on San Diego's continuing pension saga.