LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS
Firefighter/Police Retirement Benefits
City of San Francisco
Majority Vote Required
126,012 / 71.30% Yes votes ...... 50,687 / 28.60% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Infomation shown below: Summary | Fiscal Impact | Yes/No Meaning | Arguments |
Shall firefighters and police officers who transferred to the Tier 2 retirement
plan in 1981 receive improved retirement benefits given other Tier 2 members
since then if they meet certain repayment conditions?
A Charter amendment passed by the voters in 1981 offered Tier 1 firefighters and police officers a cash payment to transfer to Tier 2 to reduce the number of employees receiving the more expensive Tier 1 benefits. Approximately 250 firefighters and police officers ("the transferees") transferred from Tier 1 to Tier 2.
Retirement benefits for City employees are set by the Charter and can be changed only by the voters. Benefit increases for firefighters and police officers who transferred from Tier 1 to Tier 2 have to be separately approved by the voters.
Since 1981 the Charter has been amended by the voters to improve retirement benefits for Tier 2 members. However, firefighters and police officers who transferred to Tier 2 in 1981 have not received these improved benefits.
THE PROPOSAL: Proposition B is a Charter amendment that would allow firefighters and police officers who transferred to Tier 2 in 1981 to receive the improved retirement benefits granted to other Tier 2 employees, subject to certain limitations. The transferees also would be required to pay back with interest the cash payment they received in 1981, minus the amount of their own contributions to the retirement system.
However, no cash would be required since the City's Retirement System has a large surplus. While the cost of this proposal would reduce that surplus, it would have a minor affect. Even with this proposal, the City does not expect to have to contribute to the Retirement System for at least the next 15 years.
League of Women Voters
|Arguments For Proposition B
|Arguments Against Proposition B
|A small group of 254 firefighters and police officers - mostly
minorities and women - have been unintentionally excluded
from retirement benefit improvements recently approved by voters
for the City's Tier 2 Retirement System.
Their unequal status is due to Proposition F, passed in 1980. Proposition F saved the City hundreds of millions of dollars by encouraging firefighters and police officers to transfer out of the expensive Tier 1 into the far less generous Tier 2 plan. Those who transferred were promised that they would receive future Tier 2 benefit improvements if they repaid money they got to transfer. However, obscure provisions in Proposition F locked them out of Tier 2 improvements even if they repaid the funds by requiring a separate special charter amendment just to receive the same improvements other Tier 2 employees receive.
Recently, voters have granted Tier 2 benefit improvements including better pension payments earlier, improved cost of living adjustments and domestic partner benefits. Those who transferred to Tier 2 cannot get any of these improvements.
Even new employees get far better benefits than these twenty-five year veterans who transferred to Tier 2! While the City requires private employers to offer domestic partner benefits, these employees cannot receive the same benefits!
This proposed Charter amendment will cure this unfairness at no cost to the City until at least 2015 and little cost thereafter. Those who transferred will repay with interest the City's contributions received in 1981 and get benefit improvements already enjoyed by their co-workers.
Those who transferred will not return to Tier 1 or get more than what they were promised in 1981. This small group of long-term firefighters and police officers will simply get the same retirement benefits as newer co-workers.
Please Vote Yes on Proposition B.
Board of Supervisors
This ballot measure was rejected by the voters a couple of elections ago. How dare the Supervisors re-submit the same rejected ballot measure again?
It is time to stop the city fund as a candy store with special privileges granted to a few.
Stop the current Mayor from giving away our money in an attempt to pay off his political debts.
The Police Officers Association made a serious blunder by endorsing the Mayor. Now the police are faced with a city government being investigated for administrative corruption.
Vote no on Proposition B.
Martin Lee Eng
|Stop the current mayor to give away our money for paying off
his political debts. The police union made a serious blunder by
endorsing him, with an administration plagued with FBI corruption
probes into the next century, guaranteeing with criminal
Martin Lee Eng
Proposition B is not about "giving away" money, but rather, about equal treatment. Most firefighters and police get pension benefits which voters recently improved - like 2% at 50, cost of living adjustments, domestic partner benefits. However, when the voters improved benefits, they didn't know that about 200 firefighters and police were left out due to a technicality in 1980's Proposition F requiring separate charter amendments for transferees. About 95% of firefighters and police already get much better pensions than those who transferred and saved the City approximately $200 million. The Controller's report says those benefits will not cost the City any money until at least the year 2015 and little thereafter, while the City has saved 33 times any cost associated with this Proposition. Don't be fooled by false accusations!
Firefighters and police earn retirement benefits by risking their lives every workday. Fairness demands that they all earn the same benefits. Rookies get every benefit improvement denied to excluded veterans with twenty years of service! San Francisco's political leaders, including the Mayor, every Supervisor, Fire and Police Chiefs, support this Proposition because it's only fair.
Vote Yes on Proposition B.
Board of Supervisors
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