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

Categories: City Hall

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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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