San Bernardino Curbs Retiree Benefits in Plan

San Bernardino will put off paying $13 million to California’s retirement system and $3.4 million for pension bonds issued in 2005, in a provisional spending plan.

The City Council voted 5-2 for the fiscal road map yesterday to meet a court imposed Nov. 30 deadline for a balanced interim municipal budget while in bankruptcy proceedings. In addition to deferring payments on pension obligations, the plan calls for firefighting and policing cuts.

“Without restructuring its finances or maintaining the protection of Chapter 9, the city could not pay its employees, retirees, bondholders or vendors,” Andrea Travis-Miller, the acting city manager, and Jason Simpson, the finance director,
said in a council memo. “This would result in uncontrolled default and, presumably, a collapse of public services.”

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