Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan is leading an effort to place an initiative on the ballot next year that would replace government pensions for newly hired Los Angeles city employees with 401(k)-style retirement programs.
According to the Los Angeles Times
, the proposal, which Riordan planned to file today, would also freeze the size of pensions for existing employees even when their salaries increase, unless they are promoted.
The plan, which needs 247,000 signatures to be placed on the May ballot, would apply to all city workers, including police and firefighters, and would save hundreds of millions of dollars by 2017.
Employee unions are organizing against the measure in hopes of convincing voters not to sign Riordan's ballot petition.
The move by the former mayor followed a Los Angeles City Council vote two weeks ago to increase the retirement age for newly hired government workers from 55 to 67 to help reduce pension costs. But firefighters, police officers, and employees of the city's Department of Water and Power were exempted.
Riordan doesn't believe the council action will save much money, which is why his ballot proposal applies to all city workers.
“Every voter we've talked to believes we desperately need this,” he told reporters.
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