Pension Reform: Phoenix Voters Adopt Changes Expected to Save Taxpayers Nearly $600 Million Over Next Two Decades

Categories: City Hall

Phoenix voters overwhelmingly approved a proposal to reform the city's pension plan -- a plan city officials say will save taxpayers about $600 million over the next 23 years.

According to unofficial results, 71,086 voters, or 79.54 percent, said yes to Proposition 201, compared to 18,284 voters, or 20.46 percent, who opposed the measure.

A related pension-reform measure that changes how the city invests pension funds also was approved with 68,029 yes votes (77.17 percent) and 20,130 no votes (22.83 percent).

The pension-reform proposal amends the City Charter -- decreases the city's contribution to employee retirement plans by increasing how much employees' hired on July 1, 2013, or later will pay into the plan.

The changes, however, do not apply to police officers, firefighters, and elected officials' pensions.

In addition to new city employee investing more of their own money, the Tuesday vote also increases the age and service requirements before employees are eligible for retirement.

Currently, employees have to accumulate 80 points before they can retire -- points calculated based on the individual's age and years of service. The new plan requires 87 points before most workers are eligible for full retirement.

"Pension reform will save our city $600 million and create a 50/50 partnership for the city and its employees," Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said in a statement. "It will attract talented workers to deliver the highest-quality services and make us competitive for a stronger economic future."

Also on Tuesday, voters also approved a measure that will allow private security officer to issue citations to bus and light-rail passengers.

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Public pensions, particularly those of police and fire, are far too generous and widely abused.  Pensions should be based only on base salary, no OT or paid out vacation/sick time.  They should be based on the average of the last 7 years, to limit the current gaming of the pension system by giving someone a huge last year promotion that allows them to dramatically increase their pension payout.

Even better, abandon the defined benefit pension system and go with a defined contribution plan.  


@ctglobaldocs having difficulty following you here - "Many of us consider these government employees to be WELFARE RECIPIENTS who deserve NO PENSIONS at all."  Who stated that?  Your "colleagues" made this statement?

ctglobaldocs topcommenter

@sarum @ctglobaldocs We monitor E-mails received at,, and many other sources.  We also get feedback from the CT Global site at %s

People are more ticked off at government employees now because Congress and President Obama won't take pay cuts, while Americans suffer more and more.

Local Arizona sentiment appears to be about the same.

If you have evidence and opinions in opposition, your feedback is welcome via the above contact information. 

Brad DeShane, for CT America and CT Global


@ctglobaldocs Careful here.  Sure we are mad at the congress critters.  But here in AZ historically, many of your low level government employees have been paid so little that they qualified for food stamps and other aid.   "Government service" is term that the entitled set likes to call their efforts to create profit on the backs of the rest of us but for many employees it truly is a "service" because they do not get paid much at all.  

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