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Retirement should be 50-60% not 90% of pay

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POSTED June 3, 2009 2:33 a.m.
Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
The city is still facing a  huge budget deficit that must be resolved expeditiously. Recently, I read that the City of Manteca finally realizes (the mayor) that reductions in pay and retirement are necessary is surprising. In several articles, I and other writers wrote that the only way to close and bring the budget in line with income were to re-negotiate pay, pension contract with the police and fire departments.

The fact that the police/firefighters receive 90% of base pay at retirement is alarming and detrimental to the financial prosperity for many years. First, there is not a profession that receives 90% of base pay at retirement; most retirees receive 40-60%. There is no rational reason that would justify the city to have agreed to the embedded formula in the contracts that resulted in 90% of salary at retirement.

With that said, the Mayor and City Council members must make the decision to revise the Pension Formula for both the firefighters and police officers to include the Chief of Police/Chief of Fire that will result in comparative retirement at retirement 50 to 60%. It is important that that decision to reverse the contracts come from those that approved current contracts, the Mayor and City Council. The wrong course would be for the mayor and City Council to extricate themselves by appointing another citizen committee to revisit similar recommendations made by the previous Citizen Committee.

Therefore, I agree that the retirement benefits, to include retirement pay and health insurance, should be reduced. But those decisions must be made by those elected without citizens cover.
Robert L. Fennell
Manteca
June 2, 2009
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