City of Phoenix Pension Reform Initiative, Proposition 487 (November 2014)
|Voting on Local|
|Local Ballot Measures|
|Original Case study|
|San Jose & San Diego|
- 1 Election results
- 2 Text of measure
- 3 Support
- 4 Opposition
- 5 Reports and analyses
- 6 Background
- 7 Path to the ballot
- 8 Related measures
- 9 See also
- 10 External links
- 11 Additional reading
- 12 References
The Pew Charitable Trust did a study in 2009 that estimated the Phoenix public employee retirement system had $5.115 billion in liabilities and that $1.399 billion of this fund was not backed by city assets, making the retirement fund only 73 percent funded. The city of Phoenix 2013 Actuarial Value Report showed that the unfunded liabilities of the city's pension system equaled $1.5 billion, with the pension fund having dropped to 56 percent funding. Moreover, the annual supplementary pension payments of the city rose by 40 percent from 2011 to 2013, resulting in a 2013 payment of $253 million. In 2003, the pension payment was $35 million.
A group called Citizens for Pension Reform, working with the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, announced that they began circulation of signature petitions in September of 2013 in order to put an initiative before voters that would entirely change the pension system for public employees going forward. On March 11, 2014, two days before the submission deadline, the group turned in more than 54,000 signatures, which was more than double the 25,480 valid signatures required to put the initiative on the ballot.
The initiative focused on two things:
- First, it would change the city's retirement system from a defined benefit system, in which retirees are guaranteed payments despite investment performance, to a 401(k)-style defined contribution plan, in which the city contributes a set amount and the retiree's benefits depend on his or her own contributions and investment performance.
- Second, it would take steps to put a stop to pension spiking by implementing limits on the pension benefits available to current employees.
The Phoenix City Retirement Plan cost taxpayers $28 million in 2000 while it cost $110 million in the 2012 fiscal year and $253 million in 2013. In the face of this ballooning of city pension costs, Phoenix voters overwhelmingly approved two propositions that reformed the retirement system of city employees, Proposition 201 and 202, in 2013.
Supporters argued that the measure would save millions of dollars for the city in the long-run and would put a stop to exorbitant pension payouts caused by pension spiking. Supporters also argued that Prop. 487 would provide a stable, sustainable retirement system to new employees and any current employees that wish to switch to the new system. Many are worried that the current system is unsustainable and will drag the city into bankruptcy, following the fate of cities like Detroit and San Bernardino.
Opponents argued that the initiative was badly written, would harm the public safety services of the city by making benefits less competitive, would remove death and disability benefits from police officers and firefighters and cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Opponents were also critical of the origins of Prop. 487, pointing out that one of the chief organizations behind the initiative, the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, and other backers used "dark money" or funding with unknown sources to qualify and promote Prop. 487. They also pointed out that the Arizona Free Enterprise Club is currently under investigation for campaign finance violations.
|Phoenix Proposition 487|
Election results via: Maricopa County Elections Office website
Text of measure
The following language was approved by the Phoenix City Council to appear on the ballot for Proposition 487:
Amend City Charter: Eliminate participation in the current retirement plan and establish a defined contribution plan for new employees; allow current employees to transfer into this plan; prohibit City contributions to any other retirement plan, including deferred compensation plans, post-employment benefit plans and the police officer and firefighter retirement system.
A "YES" vote shall have the effect of amending the City Charter to change retirement plan terms for City employees as state above.
A "NO" vote shall have the effect of retaining the existing Charter provisions governing City employee retirement plans.
Supporters of the initiative were shocked by and extremely opposed to the ballot language approved by the city on July 2, 2014, calling it inaccurate, wildly misleading and a betrayal of the voters. Critics of the city council argued that the initiative explicitly did not affect the state-run pension plan for police and firefighters, making it unconscionable for the ballot language to claim as uncontested fact that the initiative would prohibit the city from providing funding for the police and fire retirement system.
Opponents of the measure were gratified by the City's approval of what they considered accurate ballot language that made it clear the measure does, in fact, impact police officers and firefighters.
Critics of the city council argued--in contradiction to the city's independent legal analysis--that the initiative explicitly did not affect the state-run pension plan for police and firefighters, making it deceptive and inaccurate for the ballot language to claim as fact that the initiative would prohibit the city from providing funding for the police and fire retirement system.
Mayor Greg Stanton, who supported the ballot language ultimately approved by the city council, insisted that the language was a fair representation of the initiative text. He responded, "They can spin this any way they want. But the facts are that they blew it when it came to crafting the initiative language itself."
Meanwhile, columnist Robert Robb, writing for the Arizona Republic, said:
I've been around politics a long time and don't expect politicians not to engage in politics. Yet there are times when even the crassest politicians are expected to act dispassionately and honorably. Crafting ballot language is one of those occasions. The voters are entitled to a neutral description of what they are being asked to decide, not language declaring as uncontested fact something very much subject to disputation.
Mayor Greg Stanton and the five council members who adopted this propagandistic ballot language – Kate Gallego, Michael Nowakowski, Laura Pastor, Daniel Valenzuela and Thelda Williams -- have betrayed the voters and dishonored themselves.
Outraged proponents of the initiative announced the intention to sue the city, seeking fair ballot language. The group, however, was afraid that they would suffer the same fate as pension reformers in Cincinnati, spending all of their funds fighting a political and legal battle with the city and leaving no money for campaigning and advertising. In the end, they decided not to file a lawsuit over the ballot language, opting, instead, to go to the voters and attempt to explain their position directly. Speaking of the actions of city officials, executive director of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, Scot Mussi, said, "They're going to keep spreading the same lie over and over again. We're better off going to the voters, explaining. We believe we'll prevail doing that."
The title of the proposed ordinance appeared as follows:
An initiative measure amending the Phoenix City Charter Chapter XXIV, relating to employee retirement system plans, by adding Part V and adopting The Phoenix Pension Reform Act of 2014; Preventing pension spiking; Providing a retirement plan for future hires; Protecting certain rights of current employees in the city of Phoenix Employees' Retirement System; Providing for future termination of City of Phoenix Employees' Retirement System when it has no more participants or liabilities.
The full text of the ordinance proposed by this initiative is available here.
- Citizens for Pension Reform
- Vice Mayor Jim Waring, District 2
- Council Member Sal DiCiccio, District 6
- The Arizona Free Enterprise Club (AFEC)
Arguments in favor
Council Member Sal DiCiccio argued that the city's massive pension debt and the increasing city pension payments require a long term solution. DiCiccio was not satisfied by the reform in Propositions 201 and 202 and has written that he thinks Phoenix has a chance to become a standard for fiscal responsibility needed throughout the nation. He also said that municipal stability is essential for thriving businesses and jobs. He wrote, "If you want to create a model for business growth, you must create an environment of stability. Businesses and jobs will begin to follow those cities, regions and states demonstrating financial stability. Imagine the message we send to the nation if we successfully tackle our long-term financial obligations. Imagine the message we send to Washington, D.C., if we solve our long-term debt. And, imagine the message we send to job creators that our fiscal house is in order."
When asked specifically about Proposition 487, DiCiccio said:
I am a strong supporter of pension reform, and you should be, too. Facts: 50 Phoenix retirees will be getting $183 million by the time they are 75. A librarian took $280,000 in cash at retirement, and then started a pension of $102,000 per year. This creates strain on public safety, senior services and libraries. The initiative is not perfect, but it does two things: First, it ends all forms of pension spiking. Second, it moves new employees to a 401(k) retirement system, just like yours. Pension reform saves taxpayers millions, stops the abuse and creates more predictability in budgeting.
—Sal DiCiccio, District 6, Ahwatukee and east Phoenix
Vice Mayor Jim Waring, who represents District 2 - northeast Phoenix - on the city council, said:
I support the pension-reform initiative. It will end pension spiking. It will save the city millions in the long run. It will fundamentally change a broken and prohibitively expensive system. Real reform is desperately needed. The March 2013 ballot issue may save taxpayers up to $600 million, but no real reforms were enacted and the financially ruinous status quo persists. In this case, voters will have the chance to make real reforms. If we don't act, rising pension costs will continue to cause budget deficits and reductions in public safety.
—Vice Mayor Jim Waring, District 2
Supporters of the initiative responded to opponents' arguments that the initiative could remove death and disability benefits from employees by simply saying the claims are unfounded and false. Scot Mussi said, "This one is just a flat-out lie. It has absolutely nothing to do with death and disability benefits. I guess this could cause space aliens to come down, too. I don't know." He went on to say that the initiative does not prevent the city from offering a separate disability-benefit and death-benefit program for new workers and that the initiative explicitly does not effect current employees who choose to stay in the current pension system. Some supporters also said that the city could easily buy insurance plans for certain employees instead of funding a pension system under Prop. 487.
- City Pension Reform Task Force
- Mayor Greg Stanton
- Council Member Kate Gallego, District 8 - southeast Phoenix and parts of downtown
- Council Member Laura Pastor, District 4 - central and west Phoenix
- Council Member Michael Nowakowski, District 7 - southwest Phoenix and parts of downtown
Some city officials have said that if this initiative goes on the ballot and is approved, the taxpayers would not see savings for years, and, in the short-term, it will cost them large sums because the city would have to pay off the $5 billion dollar fund in an expedited time frame and without contributions from future employees, who would be part of the new system.
When asked about Proposition 487, Mayor Greg Stanton said:
Since taking office, I've championed major pension reform to save $830 million and move Phoenix in the right direction. This initiative, though, isn't reform — it's reckless: it places a heavier burden on taxpayers in the near future, reduces pay for all city employees (including police officers and firefighters), and puts basic city services at risk. According to an independent, third-party actuary, the initiative won't save money, but would instead cost taxpayers up to $651 million over the next 20 years — and that doesn't include the millions the city will be forced to pay to trial lawyers to defend it in court.
—Greg Stanton, Mayor
When asked if she supports or opposes Prop 487, Council Member Kate Gallego, District 8, said:
Oppose. Pension reform should save money, and this ballot initiative will not. It is full of legal inconsistencies and will be tied up in court for years. The ballot initiative will add new costs, estimated at $477 million over 20 years, while doing nothing to address our current $1.5 billion in liabilities. I represent a district that needs investments in our roads, parks and public safety. We cannot afford this poorly written initiative.
—Council Member Kate Gallego, District 8
Council Member Michael Nowakowski (District 7), representing southwest Phoenix and parts of downtown, said:
I agree that pension reform is necessary, however, this initiative will be subject to legal challenges that increases liability to the city, places risk on employees and reduces retirement benefits. Most important, this initiative will make our city less attractive to current and future employees when compared to other public employers. We have already had three separate committees work to find solutions, but instead put us at a disadvantage with the Rule of 87. I could not support another initiative that negatively affects our competitiveness. Our employees and city need real reform that is fair and has long term stability.
—Council Member Michael Nowakowski, District 7
Council Member Laura Pastor, District 4, representing central and west Phoenix, said:
The fact is, the costs associated with this initiative are still unknown, and I am extremely concerned about the unintended consequences that would impact Phoenix taxpayers and city employees. If new employees stop contributing to the current system, as this initiative requires, the city will have to continue to fulfill our pension commitments to retirees, now and in the future. The voters and the City Council supported pension reform in 2013 with projected cost savings of nearly $600 million over 25 years. I would like to give that initiative time to make an impact before we change the system again. For now, the council should focus on supporting public safety, community programs, strategic planning and reforming our budget process instead of a misguided attempt that could potentially gut our entire city budget.
—Council Member Laura Pastor, District 4
Death and disability benefits
Some of the most outspoken efforts to convince voters to reject Prop. 487 claimed that the initiative would remove disability and death benefits from the city's fire and police personnel, as well as other city employees. The claim is centered around the initiative preventing new hires from enrolling in the city's defined benefit plan and preventing the city from contributing to more than one retirement fund per employee, ruling out the possibility of the city creating a new, separate disability retirement program. Fire Fighters Opposed to Prop. 487 posted a photo of a fireman's daughter on its Facebook page, saying, "If Prop. 487 passes and the unthinkable were to happen to her dad at work, Claire and her mom would receive nothing. Taking line-of-duty death benefits from firefighters and police officers is simply wrong." Although initiative proponents say that this claim is a lie and that the initiative was specifically crafted to not remove benefits from police or fire safety employees, city officials say that the wording of the initiative is unclear and the question would have to be settled in court.
Opponents of the measure pointed to a city analysis of likely impacts to underscore that passage of Prop 487 could end death and disability benefits for Phoenix police officers and firefighters. On September 11, 2014, the Arizona Republic reported the following:
|“||But city officials agree Prop. 487 could impact disability and death benefits.Because new employees could not enroll in a pension system, they wouldn't have access to the disability and survivorship programs it offers. And attorneys for the city have said that could extend to current and new police officers and firefighters. Although the initiative includes a preamble stating it's not intended to impact first responders, the city has said the actual language is poorly written and could have the opposite effect, though the issue would likely have to be resolved in court.||”|
—Dustin Gardiner, The Republic
Some supporters of the initiative have floated what they call a simple solution. They proposed that the city could simply purchase insurance plans for public safety employees - which would be unquestionably legal under Prop. 487 - rather than funding a separate pension fund.
Arizona Free Enterprise Club investigation
According to the Arizona Republic, supporters of Prop 487 were "being funded by several 'dark money' groups with anonymous donors." One of the groups was the Arizona Free Enterprise Club. At the time of the election, the group was under investigation for failing "to properly file as a political committee" and failing "to report campaign contributions and expenses." The Club spent more than $1.1 million in the months leading up to the election, while concealing its donors.
Reports and analyses
City actuarial report
Cheiron, the city's actuary, conducted a study on Proposition 487 that showed the contentious initiative costing the city between $358 million and $600 million over twenty years, rather than saving money. The study focused on the closure of the city's current pension system for new hires, leaving the city to pay retirement benefits for past employees without contributions into the system from new employees, who would be a part of the new 401(k)-style pension system. The study claimed this would basically accelerate the repayment of the city's huge unfunded pension liabilities. After Vice Mayor Jim Waring and Councilman Sal DiCiccio objected to the narrow scope of the actuarial report and requested a report that looked at several additional aspects of Proposition 487, actuaries found that Proposition 487 would save taxpayers as much as $500 million over two decades.
The analysis provided to Phoenix City Council included the following component:
In the information presented to Council at the June 10, 2014 meeting, the actuarial consultant, Cheiron, estimated additional costs of $390 million from the Initiative. Because of additional data provided to Cheiron, the equivalent estimate of the costs of the Initiative is now $358 million, excluding those changes which are considered open legal questions.
—Cheiron, the city's actuary
The full actuarial report is available here.
Reason Foundation, which also released a study on Prop. 487 summarized below, said that the city's original report did not take into account three very important, money-saving aspects of Prop. 487:
- the elimination of pension spiking;
- new pension payment calculation algorithms; and
- prohibiting secondary, deferred-contribution retirement plans
Councilman Sal DiCiccio agreed with the initiative proponents and denounced the city's initial actuarial report. He wrote:
A recent My Turn by Cathy Gleason and Tom Simplot cited a study claiming pension reform could cost the city $358 million. They didn't tell you it was a biased study designed by the Phoenix pension board, which specifically left out the majority of the reforms included in the initiative. After Vice Mayor Jim Waring and I insisted the full reform initiative be analyzed, the same actuaries showed a potential savings of $508 million.
—Council Member Sal DiCiccio
Reason foundation, a policy research organization espousing libertarian values, also released an analysis of Proposition 487. The report showed significant financial benefits for the city under the initiative, including possible savings of $31 million in the first year and $399.3 million over the next 20 years.
Anthony Randazzo, writing for Reason Foundation, said:
The initiative represents a concrete idea in what has otherwise been a vague discussion about how to address the $1.5 billion in unfunded liabilities and pending recruitment troubles Phoenix faces. The question, however, is whether the proposed Act would ultimately benefit taxpayers or not.
Reason Foundation’s analysis of the Phoenix Pension Reform Act found it would actually save taxpayers $31 million in the first year of reform, and ultimately reduce pension costs by $399.3 million over the next 20 years compared to the status quo.
—Anthony Randazzo of Reason Foundation
The following chart is taken from the report released by Reason Foundation and shows projected savings provided by Prop. 487:
Props 201 and 202
Propositions 201 and 202 were referred to the March 12, 2013, ballot on October 31, 2012, through a unanimous (9-0) vote of the Phoenix City Council, despite some who did not believe the reform found in these two measures was adequate to deal with the city's pension debt.
The Phoenix City Retirement Plan cost taxpayers $28 million in 2000 while it cost $110 million in the 2012 fiscal year and $283 million in 2013.
The rapidly rising costs of the retirement plan was what led to the decision of the Phoenix City Council to push for pension reform. The City Council released a list of goals for pension reform which consisted of re-balancing contributions and making a 50/50 partnership with employees, attracting high quality workers with a competitive pension plan and saving money. To accomplish these goals, a "Pension Reform Task Force" was appointed in January of 2011. The task force was charged with the responsibility of working with management, consultants and other stakeholders to propose recommended changes.
The Pension Reform Task Force held 13 public meetings and several public input sessions. On February 14, 2012, the final recommendations were presented to the City Council. The Pension Reform Task Force made these recommendations:
- A continuation of the city's Defined Benefit Program.
- A 50/50 contribution split between the employees and the city
- An increase in retirement age.
In May 2012, the pension reform options available to the city were limited by a Maricopa County Superior Court judgement. This judgment held that municipalities in the county, including the City of Phoenix, were not allowed to change the pension plan of any existing employee or retiree. This meant that any changes to the city's pension plans could apply only to newly-hired employees. With that constraint, the City Council developed three reform models, each of which only applied to new hires. The first model mostly adhered to the changes recommended by the Pension Reform Task Force. This model is the one that was finally selected by the Council and was placed on the ballot as Propositions 201 and 202.
The second model put forward for deliberation by the council was the same as the first model, except that it added caps on the city's contribution at 10 percent, 7 percent or 5 percent. The addition of a contribution cap was voted down in a six to three vote against. Model three proposed a mandatory 401(k) system with matching 10 percent, 7 percent or 5 percent contributions from the city. Council member Sal DiCiccio, along with backers of the new pension reform initiative, did not believe Props 201 and 202 did enough to save the city from a pension payment-induced financial crisis.
Many supporters of pension reform were motivated by a desire to end the use of "pension spiking," a practice in which city employees convert certain benefits such as unused sick time or saved vacation pay to boost the salaries on which their pensions are based or extend their credited length of city service. Some were further upset by the fact that some employees, such as firefighters and police officers, are allowed to use pension spiking while other rank-and-file employees are limited or restricted from the practice. Some city employees filed suit against the city when they were denied the ability to spike their pensions when other employees were permitted to use the increasingly controversial practice. The city argued in court that it is not legally bound to let employees include unused sick time in their pension-benefit calculations but began allowing it voluntarily in 1996 and can change their position at will.
Several reports released by the Arizona Republic highlighted the pension spiking of executive-level public-safety officers and managers. The reports featured 10 public-safety retirees that had increased their lump-sum retirement benefits to over $700,000 and their annual pension payouts to more than $114,000 per year. According to backers, the proposed pension reform initiative would prohibit the practice of pension spiking.
A study by the Arizona Republic estimated a $12 million dollar cost to the city taxpayers per year from spiking practices, when using overtime and premium pay to boost pensions was counted as spiking. City officials denied the study because they claimed overtime and premium pay were part of base salaries and not a "perk" and, therefore, should not be counted as spiking.
The city council, on October 31, 2013, voted 5-4 to approve new spiking regulations that some said were adequate and legal, while others contended they were essentially useless and would not solve the problem. The plan was developed by the city's Pension Fairness and Spiking Elimination Subcommittee and prohibits applying cellphone allowances, car allowances or lump-sum payments for sick and vacation leave from being applied to pension salaries. Employees are still allowed, under the plan, to use pre-existing sick and vacation leave balances toward boosting their pensions.
The votes in favor were from Stanton, Valenzuela, Johnson, Tom Simplot and Thelda Williams, while Councilmen DiCiccio, Waring, Gates and Michael Nowakowski cast the four dissenting votes. DiCiccio, Waring and Gates objected that the biggest spiking factor was the lump-sum payouts received at retirement for unused sick and vacation leave and that this plan does nothing to stop such practices. A more strict proposal was rejected in a six-against-three vote.
Councilman Daniel Valenzuela said, "For those who say that it is not enough, it is what can be legally done." He called the law “morally and ethically right and legal.”
DiCiccio said, “It does not stop the spiking — it just does not do that. The council is going to be able to declare this huge victory today when, in fact, all it does is keep the spiking.”
Councilmember Sal DiCiccio has consistently been a strong advocate for drastic pension reform, financial responsibility and debt control. Expressing his opinion in 2013 that Propositions 201 and 202, while helping a little, were not nearly enough to solve the problems with Phoenix's retirement system, he advocated for strict city contribution caps and further limitations on city pension payouts. On August 27, 2013, DiCiccio was re-elected to the City Council, serving District 6, after a rather heated battle with union groups, who fired hundreds of thousands of dollars into their campaign against him and in support of his opponent, Karlene Keogh Parks.
|Referendum 1 Part B|
Election results from Phoenix City elections office
DiCiccio has also been a very outspoken anti-spiking advocate and began his own online petition, garnering signatures in order to pressure the mayor, Greg Stanton, into ending pension spiking practices for all city employees.
Path to the ballot
Citizens for Pension Reform needed to collect 25,480 valid voter signatures before March 14 to get their initiative on a 2014 ballot. On March 11, 2014, the group turned in over 54,000 signatures, which was more than double the required threshold. This meant that even if only half of the submitted signatures were found to be valid, the proposed Pension Reform Initiative would have still gone before voters. Moreover, the Citizens for Pension Reform Committee double checked the signatures with the city of Phoenix's own voter lists to ensure the validity of the submitted signatures.
The city clerk had until April 30, 2014, to certify that a sufficient number of signatures were valid. On April 25, 2014, over 33,000 signatures were certified, qualifying the initiative for the November ballot. Because the Pension Reform Initiative--Prop. 487--seeks to amend the city charter, the city council did not have the authority to directly approve the initiative even if a majority of members were in favor. Instead, the council was forced to present the initiative to the city voters.
The initiative process in Phoenix:
The signature requirement percentages for valid petitions, as established by state law, are based on the number of voters in the last mayoral election. For petitions to be valid, they must contain valid signatures equal to 15 percent of the votes cast in the last municipal mayoral election. Petitions must be filed within two years from the date on which the official proposition number is assigned, and signatures obtained more than 6 months prior to the date of filing shall be invalid and certified so by the clerk (Phoenix Charter, Chap. XV). After the city clerk has certified that the petition for an initiative ordinance is valid and sufficient, the Council must either:
- Pass the initiative unaltered within 20 days of petition certification. For initiatives seeking to amend the city charter, however, the council cannot pass the initiative themselves but must submit it to the city voters.
- Within 25 days, either call a special election less than 120 days after the council's decision on the initiative or resolve to place the ordinance on the next regular city election if that election is less than 6 months after the council's decision on the petition. Petitions to amend the Charter cannot simply be adopted by the council, but must be submitted to a decision of the electors.
- Phoenix City Government website, "elections information" (dead link)
- Phoenix Pension Reform Act website
- AZCentral.com, "Pension spiking may cost Phoenix $12 mil per year," October 17, 2013
- Casa Grande Dispatch, "Editorial: Phoenix pensions," October 24 2013
- AzCentral.com, "Phoenix takes modest steps to fix pension ‘spiking’ rules," November 1, 2013
- Ahwutukee Foothills News, "DiCiccio, proponent of pension system overhaul, prefers voters have final say," March 18, 2014
- AZ Central, "Phoenix pension-reform initiative is not a sham," March 25, 2014
- The Arizona Republic, "Phoenix officials accused of showing bias on pension initiative," October 6, 2014
- Phoenix Pension Reform Act website, "Phoenix Pension Reform Act to be on November Ballot," April 28, 2014
- Pew Charitable Trusts, "Cities Squeezed by Pension and Retiree Healthcare Shortfalls," March 2013
- Phoenix Pension Reform Act website," accessed February 27, 2014
- Azcentral.com, "Phoenix pension ‘spiking’ rules vary for city employees," September 14, 2013
- Pew Charitable Trust, "A Widening gap in Cities," January 2013
- Arizona Free Enterprise, "Stop Pension Abuse," accessed January 30, 2014
- AZ Central, "Phoenix voters may see pension-reform plan on ballot," June 11, 2014
- Free Enterprise Club website," accessed February 19, 2014
- Ahwatukee Tea Party, "Phoenix Pension Reform Act Files Petition Signatures," March 11, 2014
- Azcentral.com, "Phoenix ballot initiative would overhaul pension system," September 16, 2013
- Pension Reform Task Force Presentation Document (dead link)
- Ahwatukee Foothill News, "DiCiccio: Why we need real pension reform — you decide," September 17, 2013
- AZ Central, "Opponents say Phoenix pension reform ends death benefits for police, fire," September 11, 2014
- Phoenix City Clerk website, "Ordinance S-41041, Ballot language for Proposition 487 (401)," archived July 16, 2014
- Note: This proposition was originally titled Proposition 401, but it will appear on the official ballot as Proposition 487
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Arizona Republic, "Phoenix leaders fighting over pension-reform ballot language," July 2, 2014
- Arizona Republic, "The group has said the ballot language is biased," July 23, 2014
- Arizona Republic, "Phoenix council betrays voters, dishonor themselves," July 7, 2014, archived July 16, 2014
- Maricopa County Libertarian Party website, "Phoenix Pension Reform Act text," accessed January 30, 2014 (timed out)
- Arizona Republic, "Most on Phoenix council oppose pension-reform act," June 20, 2014, archived July 18, 2014
- Arizona Republic, "Opponents say Phoenix pension reform ends death benefits for police, fire," September 11, 2014
- Arizona Republic, "Election officials: Reasonable cause that Arizona Free Enterprise Club broke law," accessed September 12, 2014
- Arizona Republic, "Arizona Free Enterprise Club doles out big money in election races," August 5, 2014
- Morrison Institute for Public Policy, "Citizens’ Initiative Review of Proposition 487: Pension reform," accessed September 26, 2014
- The Arizona Republic, "Pension 'reform' would cost taxpayers $358 million," July 16, 2014
- Reason Foundation, "Phoenix Pension Reform Act Summary Analysis," June 10, 2014, archived July 18, 2014
- Phoenix.gov, "City Council Report on Prop. 487," archived September 12, 2014
- Arizona Republic, "Real numbers show need for pension reform," July 24, 2014, archived July 25, 2014
- Phoenix Pension Reform FAQ
- See the Pension Reform Task Force Document here (dead link) for a list of the members of the task force
- Intellectual Conservative Arizona, "Phoenix Pensions: No Reform/Slightly Better," September 27, 2012
- AZCentral.com, "Pension spiking may cost Phoenix $12 mil per year," October 17, 2013
- AzCentral.com, "Phoenix takes modest steps to fix pension ‘spiking’ rules," November 1, 2013
- Ahwatukee Foothill News, "DiCiccio wins District 6 City Council seat," August 30, 2013
- Ballotpedia Staff Writer Josh Altic interview with Paul Jacob, January 22, 2014
- Ballotpedia, "Laws governing local ballot measures in Arizona," accessed March 12, 2014
- Note: Even if they could have, the city council members would not have approved this legislation as only two members supported Proposition 487, and the rest opposed it.