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Issues - PENSIONS (2/5/20)


Governments at all levels are struggling with the growing cost of pensions. Benicia is not unique in needing to face up to this fiscal challenge. In the current fiscal year, we will pay nearly $8 million for pensions. That annual cost increases to $12 million over the next ten years before leveling off. Our net pension liability is currently $64 million. Our current General Fund is approximately $45 million/year (does not include water and sewer which are kept in a separate fund).  If our General Fund budget increases only at the rate of inflation, our pension obligations will consume an increasingly large share of our budget.


There are no easy answers. The pensions have been granted to our Public Safety and classified and management employees over the last two decades, through labor negotiations with their unions. Pensions cannot be reduced or negotiated away. Recent state legislation established a two tier system at CalPers, where more recent hires have a somewhat lower pension benefits. 


Meanwhile, we must maintain our financial stability while continuing to deliver the essential services our community expects. Towards that end, we need to continue to seek new revenue and use prudent financial practices so we can meet our pension obligations while continuing to provide a high level of service.




Hilary Aitken
Marilyn Bardet
Nikki Basch Davis
Cathy Bennett
Constance Beutel
Madeleine Borges
Kathleen Carey
Ruscal Cayangyang
Stephan Clifford
Allison Connor
Denise Cullen
Dennis Cullen
Ralph Dennis
Vicki Dennis
Diane Dooley
Peggy Duly
Larry Dutch
Barb Duvall
Beverly Edmonds
Hadieh Elias
Polly Farina
Adela Fernandez
Patricia Flynn
Alicia Gallagher
Dana Green
Jim Green
Ginny Green
Lori Grundman
Amy Hames
Stephen Jones
Kimberly Klein
Jack Kolk
Madeline Koster
Robin Lancaster
Elizabeth Lewis
Kristen Massey
June Mejias
Terry Mollica
Brianna Newton
Robert Norman
Noah Ochoa
Joshua Oehler
Marylee Parr
Lisa Reinertson
Tim Reynolds
Nancy Roetzer
Patrick Roetzer
Steve Scheinman
Donna Seslar
Dan Smith
Andres Soto
Roger Straw
Henry Sun
Toby Tover
Sarah Westmoreland

Steve Young for Mayor

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