03.11.2015

Carl DeMaio and Chuck Reed Partner for Bipartisan Pension Reform Effort

Carl DeMaio Announces Effort to Reform Unsustainable California Government Pensions

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Former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed (D) and former San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio (R) both led successful efforts to reform government pension benefits in their cities. Now the two are teaming up to explore the possibility of placing a pension reform initiative on the 2018 statewide ballot and to and to build a bipartisan coalition of civic, community and local elected officials for pension reform.

“Without serious pension reform in California, we face a future of cuts to important services and more tax revenues diverted to unsustainable pension payments,” noted Chuck Reed. “It is clear that politicians in Sacramento are not serious about reforming unsustainable pension benefits for government employees, so voters must take the matter into their own hands and impose reform at the ballot box,” noted Carl DeMaio.

Even after pumping billions more into government pension systems, the pension debt is still exploding - growing from $6.3 billion in 2003 to $198 billion in 2013. That’s not all: the state’s unfunded liability for retiree health care benefits is currently estimated at $72 billion. The crisis is only getting worse – pension costs are projected to increase by 50% for most local governments and will double for schools in just the next five years. Compounding the overall financial strain faced by taxpayers, there are also numerous instances of pension abuses - with some government retirees cashing six-figure pension payouts annually.

Working with leading pension law and financial recovery experts, DeMaio and Reed are finalizing a state-wide initiative to enact powerful reforms to 1) save taxpayers money 2) provide for sustainable and reliable retirement benefits and 3) end abusive pension payouts.