California - News

Mar 9, 2011 6:53 PM

LA mayor, unions contend with huge retirement bill

LOS ANGELES (AP) The fight over costly public pensions is raging across the country, but voters in heavily Democratic Los Angeles quietly rolled back retirement pay for future police officers and firefighters this week with no opposition from labor.

The changes approved by voters Tuesday are modest, considering the city's bill for its all its retirees could double by 2015.

The harder job lies ahead.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants to boost the retirement age for civilian employees, then provide less generous pension benefits compared to today's retirees. Informal talks are under way to get current firefighters and police to contribute to spiraling retiree health costs.

The mayor says "the rising cost of public pensions is crippling our city's ability to provide critical public services."

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