- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
In San Diego, a high-stakes battle over pensions
‘Enron by the Sea’
Just before Mr. Sanders took office in 2005, the city was rocked by a pension underfunding scheme that led to a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and caused the city’s credit rating to be suspended.
The New York Times dubbed San Diego “Enron by the Sea.”
Among a series of changes that have become a model for other state and municipal pensions programs, Mr. Sanders previously helped move city workers to a hybrid pension program. Employees hired after July 1, 2009, contribute more toward their retirement savings and bear more investment risk. Those changes will save an estimated $36 million in the next decade, while a recently approved retiree health care plan will save more than $700 million over the next 25 years.
By making the full shift to 401(k)-style plans, Mr. Sanders estimates the city can save at least $1.2 billion over 30 years. So far, several cities and states — including Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Georgia, Utah, Alaska, West Virginia, and most recently, Rhode Island — have overhauled their retirement systems to include a partial 401(k)-type plan.
Neil Bomberg, a program director at the National League of Cities, said Mr. Sanders‘ push for a fully privatized plan is unusual. Most cities, counties and states with pension problems are moving to some form of hybrid plan similar to the federal employment retirement system, which includes the Thrift Savings Plan that operates like a 401(k).
“We’ve heard a lot of screaming about pensions, but for the most part, they are not bankrupting cities and towns because on average they only amount to 3 [percent] to 4 percent of a city’s annual expenditures,” Mr. Bomberg said.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at email@example.com.
- GOP senators want IG probe of Sebelius' 'Obamacare' fundraising
- Teaming up with Christie, Obama says Jersey shore 'back in business'
- No Moore: Obama flubs name of Oklahoma city devastated by tornado, calls it 'Monroe'
- Obama to Okla. tornado victims: 'We have got your back'
- Amid his own challenges, Obama calls on Navy grads to hold themselves accountable
Latest Blog Entries
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- House votes for bargain to end budget drama
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- ICT trade mission to Azerbaijan successfully completed
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- CHELLANEY: China's game of chicken
- Inside China: Ukraine gets nuke umbrella
- EDITORIAL: The Potemkin website
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow