The lower pension payment plan is like deja vu again
Re “Pension Board Cuts San Diego Annual Payout by $31 Million in Response to Stock Market Gains Last Year” (March 22): History repeats itself. When will city leaders ever learn?
The City of San Diego cut payments to the retirement system in the 1990s when investment returns were higher than expected. When the stock market rallied, the pension system suffered huge losses and became underfunded. The city had to reimburse the loss at great expense to us, the taxpayers. Today, leaders are starting over. The $31 million saved today could grow to $100 million or more in a few years. Maybe earlier. When will they learn?
I was a member of the pension board from 2009 to 2017. I was chairman of the board from 2013 to 2015. I believe the board made a big mistake by lowering the pension payment. I have always advocated aggressive funding of the system.
What is the board going to do next year when investment returns don’t meet actuarial assumptions? Prudence says to pay off the debt as soon as possible. The board shouldn’t take their collective foot off the gas pedal because they’ve had a good year.
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