California cities gain tool to chop retirement benefits


By Chris Reed | Cal Watchdog

A cliche in government circles is that there is no “magic bullet” available to address many big, difficult problems. But thanks to a recent action by the California Supreme Court, many local governments now do have a “magic bullet” to reduce their unfunded retirement benefits.

On April 30, the court chose not to hear an appeal of an appellate court ruling upholding the city of San Diego’s 2011 deal rolling back retirement health benefits for city workers. San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith had argued that while pension benefits for public employees are constitutionally protected, retirement health benefits could be reduced or rescinded because they amounted to a bequest from an employer to an employee.

at Cal Watchdog.