The City Council will consider ways to manage pension costs Tuesday, Jan. 22, when it discusses recently enacted state pension reform laws and how they apply to Palo Alto.
Retired city employees this year will cost Palo Alto a projected $23.37 million -- slightly down from the $23.89 million spent in 2012 but still a tenfold increase from the $2.4 million liability of 2003.
Palo Alto should explore additional legislation to "close remaining loopholes (in the 2012 reform) and to give cities broader decision-making power in regards to their pension plans," City Manager James Keene has suggested.
In a 61-page staff report, Keene describes the impact of pension reform legislation adopted last year, which alters cost-sharing formulas for new employees.
"Palo Alto and its employees have already achieved substantial cost sharing through employees' agreement to pay their full PERS (Public Employees Retirement System) contribution (of 7 percent, 8 percent or 9 percent)," Keene said.
"Going forward after 2018, the Council has authority to consider seeking additional cost sharing, through negotiations where appropriate, with respect to employees paying 50 percent of the normal cost, capped at 8 percent for miscellaneous and 12 percent for safety."
The council meeting begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, in the Council Chambers of Palo Alto City Hall, 250 Hamilton Ave.