San Francisco Pension Deficit Deepens

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – San Francisco’s pension fund for retired city workers is even worse off than projected. The city will have to contribute around $600 million next year to pay for pension costs.

Last year, the Civil Grand Jury caught flack from city workers’ unions for predicting that San Francisco would have to contribute 17 percent of retirees pensions. As it turns out, it’s even higher – 18 percent, according to Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, who sits on the City’s Retirement Board. That’s 4.5 percent higher than last year, and it’s now projected to rise to 26 percent in three years.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

”It will be the equivalent of having two San Francisco General Hospital budgets, about $650 to $700 million on the books, whereas just five years ago it was zero,” said Elsbernd.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi, whose pension reform measure was narrowly defeated by voters last year, said that it confirms what he’s been saying.

”It’s going to bankrupt the city, there’s no question,” said Adachi. “And what’s scary is that it’s going to happen within the next four or five years.”

The pension fund is supposed to be self-sustaining, and every dollar the city has to backfill comes out of money for city services and programs

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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