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City of Los Angeles Pension Reform, Measure G (March 2011)

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A City of Los Angeles Pension Reform, Measure G ballot question was on the March 8, 2011 ballot for voters in the City of Los Angeles, where it was approved.[1]

Measure G will reduce the city's costs for the pension and retirement healthcare plans for newly hired police officers and firefighters. The ballot question does not apply to the pension plans or retirement healthcare costs of existing police officers and firefighters.

Measure G rolls back some "new, richer annual benefits" that were created with Los Angeles Charter Amendment A in 2001, ."..the ballot measure that created the higher pension tier that is now causing the city such financial anxiety and which [2011's Measure G] seeks to cut off."[2]

Specifically, it will:

  • Add a new tier, Tier 6, to the Fire and Police pension plan.
  • The Fire and Police pension plan currently has 5 tiers.
  • Currently, new employees become members of tier 5.
  • Under Measure G, newly-hired employees would become members of the newly-created Tier 6.
  • Tier 6 would lower the minimum pension to 40%, add a 2% employee salary contribution to retiree health benefits and base pension on the highest two-year salary average instead of the highest single year.[3]

With the enactment of Measure G, the average annual cost to the city for each new employee for pensions and retirement health care will go from $15,000 to $12,000. The employee's average annual contribution will increase from $6,100 to $7,500.[4]

Measure G was one of 10 ballot measures on the March 8, 2011 City of Los Angeles ballot.

Election results

Measure G
Result Votes Percentage
Approveda Yes 129,695 74.54%
No 44,294 25.46%

Election results from the Los Angeles City Clerk as of 2:44 a.m. on March 9, 2011


The March 8, 2011 election is over

The city's police and firefighter unions agreed to the Measure G plan and Mayor Villaraigosa supported it.[1]

Villaraigosa and city council President Eric Garcetti signed the official ballot argument in favor of Measure G.[2]

City council member Paul Koretz was in favor of Measure G, but reluctantly: "If we don’t rein in pensions, the city will struggle to survive."[5]


Critics said that ballot question it does not go "nearly far enough to control soaring pension obligations from public-sector employees."[1]

Newspaper editorials

  • The Los Angeles Times supported Measure G, writing, "Intended to undo an excessively generous pension deal for public safety workers approved in 2001, this measure would offer lower retirement benefits to newly hired police officers and firefighters. It won't end the city's problems with unfunded pension liabilities, but it might help convince other public-employee unions to come to the table."[6]

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Measure G: Shall the Charter be amended: (1) to provide sworn Fire, Police, and Harbor Department employees, who are hired on or after July 1, 2011, with the pension benefits provided in the Fire and Police Pension Plan-Tier 6; and (2) to modify provisions of the Fire and Police Pension Plan in order to facilitate compliance with state and federal laws, to authorize the Council to establish an Excess Benefit Plan, to allow flexibility in establishing amortization policies, and to make technical changes?[7]

External links