S.F. Ballot Measure Aims To Control Rising Retiree Health Benefits Costs
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday is expected to vote on a proposed ballot measure intended to cut the city's retirement health care benefits for future government employees, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The proposed City Charter amendment would create a two-tier retiree health care system, under which current employees would maintain existing benefits after only five years of service. New employees would not be eligible for full retiree health benefits until they reached 20 years of service.
New employees also would pay 2% of their salaries, combined with 1% from the city, to a fund that expects to reduce the $4 billion in unfunded retiree health care costs that current estimates project lie ahead for San Francisco, the Chronicle reports.
In exchange for the change in eligibility for retiree health care benefits, the proposed measure would increase pensions. The added pension benefits would cost the city $84 million annually for the next 20 years and $27 million annually after that.
Government employee unions are supporting the charter amendment, which will include an 18-month salary freeze to help pay for the increased pension benefits.
If approved by the board, the amendment would go before voters in June (Buchanan, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/26).