On Oct. 11, LACERS pension trustees considered a plan that would increase the City’s contribution to LACERS by $40 to 50 million a year. The city already faces a deficit of more than $200 million for next fiscal year and the change could force the city to lay off employees.
SEIU 721 members joined Mayor Villaraigosa in urging the trustees to delay any change until the City’s budget is stabilized.
“We asked them to reconsider because changing the contribution rate will cost the city extra money which they haven’t budgeted for,” said John Hawkins, a programmer analyst with the city. “The plan was recommended by an outside consultant and doesn’t consider the impact it will have on city employees.”
Even elected officials that SEIU 721 members don’t always see eye to eye with urged the trustees to delay implementing any changes that would result in layoffs. Mayor Villaraigosa, Council President Eric Garcetti, and Councilmembers Koretz, Parks, and Perry all sent this letter to Roberta Conroy, the President of the LACERS Board of Trustees, just before the start of the meeting.
In the end, the LACERS trustees voted unanimously to postpone their decision for two weeks pending an analysis from the CAO on the impact to City employees of making the proposed change.
Most importantly, LACERS’ actuary told the trustees that neither the two-week delay, nor deferring implementation of the consultant’s plan would cause harm to the pension plan or jeopardize benefits for current or future retirees.
The LACERS board will review the issue again on Tuesday, Oct. 25 at its downtown offices. If you would like to attend the meeting, please contact your worksite organizer.