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Pension Reform: Council Approves Cuts to Officer Retirement Benefits

The city looks to save money with reductions in retirement plans for new officer hires.

Following the lead of cities throughout the state, Glendora reached an agreement with its two police officer associations to reduce the retirement benefit plan by 33 percent for newly hired sworn officers.

The amendment to the plan provides that when a sworn police officer retires at age 50, the retirement formula will be calculated by 2 percent multiplied by the number of years of service.  The city council unanimously approved the plan Tuesday after the amendment was agreed upon by the city, the Glendora Police Officers Association and the Glendora Police Management Association.

According to city documents, the contract amendment with CalPERS stipulates that the employee’s compensation will be based on the average of the three highest-paid years of compensation.

Previously, officers’ retirement plans were set at 3 percent at age 50 with the highest year (usually the final year of service) as the basis for compensation calculation of the retirement benefit.

Interim Human Resources Director Bob Blackwood said the amendment will cut up to 25 percent of its current retirement costs, although it will take over a 15 to 20 year time period for the city to reap the savings.

“But this is a step towards planning for the future,” said Blackwood during Tuesday’s meeting.

Adopting lower retirement tiers is becoming , according to a recent survey.  A Pension Sustainability Survey conducted by the League of California Cities, showed 47 percent of 152 cities have adopted a new pension tier.

Glendora’s plan for newly hired sworn officers will go into effect after Oct.15.

Capt'n Ron August 20, 2012 at 09:23 PM
How about some REAL pension reform!... 1- Stop giving pensions and benefits to elected officials! - Pass a law that says newly elected office holders do not get pensions or benefits for being an office holder. Thats simple. 2- Retired means retired! - You only get your pension when you retire AND STOP WORKING! Quitting your job and getting another one is not retiring. Getting voted out of office is not retiring. Retiring is when you decide to stop working, take up fishing, and spoil your grandkids. No more “retiring”, start collecting a pension, and then working for another job for 20 years. 3- Retirement age in the private sector is now at 67, it should be the same for ALL public employees! 4- INCLUDE all public safety workers in the same plan as the other employees. Their compensation (and subsequently their retirement) reflects any added risk already. 5- ELIMINATE pension spiking of ANY kind! 6- Change ALL public sector employees to a 401K style plan w/ no guaranteed ROI. 90% of all pension plans in the private sector are NOT defined benefit plans. 7- Eliminate elitist exemptions. ALL working people (including politicians) should belong and contribute to the SAME plan, nationwide. If it's good enough for the taxpayers, it's good enough for those we employ. Public employee compensation should be no better, and no worse, than what is available to other (private sector) employees in the community.
John August 22, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Ron, while I agree with most of your thoughts on pension reform, I am of the opinion that I would not want Firefighters and Police to have to hang around until 67 years old. Those jobs are for the young and take a serious toll on the body. A 67 year old would not be able to put out a structure fire or chase down a bad guy. Before you say the typical rebuttal- "but by that time they will have promoted and no longer be in the field." That is only true a small percentage of the time, most will never promote so high that they will never see the inside of a fire truck or patrol car again.
Al Wright April 13, 2013 at 05:12 PM
Dear crap-tin Ron, If I were an engineer at Hughes and retired and got another job that wouldn't be a issue. Why the double standard for public employees. 1. A very small percentage of public employees retire after 20 years, at 50 years old and receive large pensions. Research it. 2. Continuing to work means that public employee and be part of the 53 percent of the population that pay taxes to support the other 47 percent. 3. It puts more money into the economy to stimulate it. Isn't that what your president wants us to do? 4. Bottom line, it's just jealousy and failure on your part to properly plan ahead.

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