As most San Diego U-T readers have probably seen, this morning had another great piece highlighting opulent retirement compensation by the city. This SD U-T’s “Watchdog” group is proving to be a very refreshing read, digging beyond what politicians and labor union media outlets spin as “the truth.”
An additional fact that’s easy to overlook though extremely important, none of these figures include the city’s matching SPSP expenses. This is effectively a second retirement fund that most private sector folks would solely be depending on for retirement. It equates to a 401k matching fund, where the city has historically matched up to 6% of an individual’s salary contribution (a generous amount by private sector standards). Combined with the basic defined benefit pension so often covered, many of these retirees now have an income stream considerably larger than when they worked for the city. By comparison, no other city in San Diego County offers this SPSP benefit for its employees.
With such high pensions, the City creates an incentive to quit working. Example is if one makes $120k and can retire with $100k pension, the employee essentially only works for $20k as opposed to staying home or taking a different job, which is what several of the examples do.
Here’s a couple highlights from the article:
– Anna Martinez, a retired librarian pulls down a pension of $143,577 annually.
– Douglas McCalla, 61, served the city for more than 35 years, starting as a park aide earning $1.55 an hour and leaving as the chief investment officer for the pension system. He is second on the list with a benefit of $174,445 per year.
– Former San Diego Police Chief David Bejarano, for example, is now Chula Vista’s police chief. He earns $191,000 a year in his new job and $139,747 a year from his San Diego retirement, for a total of $330,747.