SAN JOSE (KCBS) – In an effort to blunt a fierce political fight over pension reform, San Jose city leaders are offering to soften a retirement reform measure before it goes on the June ballot.

After talking to unions, San Jose City Manager Debra Figone recommended some changes to the pension reform ballot measure approved by the city council last year. The new proposal would reduce the amount that employees would have to pay to cover pension debt, and make benefits for new hires slightly better.

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The changes are supported by Mayor Chuck Reed, who told KCBS that the modified measure will still save the city hundreds of millions of dollars in the first ten years, and likely one billion dollars in the second ten years.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

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“We’ll save even more in the decade after that because as new employees come into the system they’re covered under a new plan, at a much lower cost to the city,” said Reed.

Union leaders are still not happy about the measure, claiming that the city has inflated its retirement costs to put pressure on employees.

The city council may change the language in the pension reform measure at its March 6th meeting.

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