SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego's $1.36 billion unfunded retiree health care obligation would be reduced by nearly $1 billion if the benefit were eliminated for existing city employees, according to a study scheduled to go before the City Council Tuesday.
The 40-page study - prepared by a committee comprised of city officials and representatives of employee labor unions - found that if the benefit is
cut off for current city employees, San Diego's retiree health care shortfall would decrease from $1.36 billion to $442 million.
If the benefit is frozen at $8,880 annually, the unfunded retiree health care liability would drop to $969 million.
As it stands now, the shortfall for retiree health care costs is greater than San Diego's annual general fund budget.
Lowering retiree health care costs is one of the 10 financial reform measures that must be achieved before a proposed half-cent sales tax hike - if approved by voters in November - could take effect.
Last year, San Diego's employee labor unions agreed to the study on retiree health care. The benefit has largely gone unfunded, resulting in the huge potential obligation to the city and taxpayers.
Employee groups argue that retiree health care is a vested benefit and cannot be modified or eliminated. In January, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith opined that retiree health care is not a vested benefit.
The study was based on figures compiled by Buck Consultants.
A group of Scripps Ranch residents, some of whom lost homes in the 2003 Cedar Fire, are scheduled to assemble care packages Sunday for survivors of the deadly blazes in Northern California.
Sunshine and higher temperatures returned to San Diego County this weekend after intermittent drizzle across the region on Friday.
It has been ten years since devastating wildfires swept through San Diego, destroying thousands of structures and affecting so many lives.
San Diego sports fans were saddened when the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park closed its doors last summer. But those who have dried their tears can open their pocketbooks and bid on sports memorabilia items that were on display at the hall.
Firefighters put out a small fire north of the El Capitan Reservoir in Lakeside and sheriff's deputies were securing the scene where a small plane crashed, authorities said Sunday.
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Backers of an initiative that would allow San Diego State University to buy the SDCCU Stadium site in Mission Valley for campus expansion are scheduled to begin seeking petition signatures Saturday.
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