Legal News

San Diego and San Jose Voters Approve City Employee Pension Cuts
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Voters in two California cities have approved cuts to retirement benefits for their city workers.

“The public is frustrated,” said San Diego councilman Carl DeMaio. DeMaio ran as Republican for mayor with the stance on cutting the pensions. He has now advanced to a general election ballot in a November runoff. Voters in San Diego approved Proposition B with two-thirds of the majority vote while Measure B in San Jose was approved by 70 percent with all of the precincts being counted.


“The voters get it, they understand what needs to be done,” said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. Reed is a Democrat and has repeatedly said that pension reform is his biggest goal as mayor.

In 1999, the payments to the city’s retirement fund in San Diego were at $43 million. In 2012, that number jumped to $231.2 million, which equals 20 percent of the city’s general fund budget. This budget is responsible for paying for daily operations of the city. As the pension payments increased, services were cut. Some services that suffered included a reduction in recreation hours, deteriorating roads and firehouses sharing trucks and engines. The workforce for the city has been cut by 14 percent to 10,100 employees.

In 2001, the pension payments for San Jose were at $73 million. In 2012, the pension payments sit at $245 million, which is equal to 27 percent of the general budget fund for the city. At the start of the previous decade, voters in the city approved construction bonds that would help build four new libraries and a police station. None of those buildings have opened yet because the city cannot afford to run them daily. San Jose boasts a population of 960,000 and it cut its employee ranks by 27 percent to 5,400 over the past 10 years.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!

“A lot of employees are disheartened,” said Yolanda Cruz, president of the San Jose Municipal Employees Federation. “We’ve been made the full problem of what’s been going on.”

A six-year freeze is placed on pay levels in San Diego to determine pension benefits unless there is a vote of two-thirds majority in the City Council to override the freeze. New hires of the city, aside from police officers, are placed into 401(k) plans. The measure was placed on the ballot after 100,000 residents in San Diego signed petitions.

The measure for San Jose forces workers to pay at most 16 percent of their salaries to keep retirement plans or modest benefits. Any new hires for the city would receive less generous benefits. The measure was placed on the ballot by a City Council vote of 8-3.

“It’s novel but it’s certainly not radical,” Reed said. “Mayors across the country are very interested. We’re at the leading edge but we’re not alone.”



Trademark Paralegal


MAVEN IP is looking for a detail-oriented full-time paralegal assistant with experience and kno...

Apply now

Associate Attorney


Plaintiff\'s Associate Attorney with a minimun 2 or more  years experience in New Jersey Person...

Apply now

Litigation Paralegal


Myers Law Group, LLC is in search of a paralegal with at least 1-2 years of experience in the area o...

Apply now

Remote Attorney Placement Professional


We are currently seeking a legal recruiter to join our Dallas office. The ideal candidate will be pe...

Apply now




Search Now

Environmental And Land Use Associate Attorney

USA-NY-New York City

New York City office of a BCG Attorney Search top ranked law firm seeks Environmental and Land Use A...

Apply Now

Litigation Associate Attorney

USA-UT-Saint George

St. George office of our client seeks Litigation Associate Attorney with 1 year of experience. The c...

Apply Now

Partner-level Associate Attorney

USA-NY-New York City

New York City office of our client seeks Partner-level Associate Attorney with 18 years of litigatio...

Apply Now

Most Popular


To Top