San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee Tuesday unveiled a proposed charter amendment to reform city employee pension and health benefits.
The proposed changes, which will go to voters, would prevent pension spiking, cap pension benefits, raise retirement ages and increase cost-sharing.
The ballot measure would also use a sliding scale to determine contribution levels and raise employee contributions to retirement health benefits.
The mayor appears to have support from union and civic leaders who had been working as a separate group on the pension problem.
Warren Hellman, co-founder of the private-equity firm Hellman & Friedman, has been an active participant in the pension reform and said the groups have been able to reach a consensus agreement.
City officials have said employee pension costs, wages and other benefits are expected to be the largest contributor to the deficit, growing 32% or $648 million over the next five years. They said benefit costs are projected to rise 62% by fiscal 2016.
The city’s deficit is set to skyrocket almost 200% over the next five years if nothing is done to fix its budget problems. The gap between revenues and costs will rise to $829 million in fiscal 2016 from $283 million from fiscal 2012, according to San Francisco’s first five-year plan.