Bakersfield Pension Reform Proposition, Measure D (November 2010)

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A Bakersfield Pension Reform, Measure D ballot proposition was on the November 2, 2010 ballot for voters in the City of Bakersfield in Kern County.[1] It was approved.

Measure D reduced retirement benefits for newly-hired police and firefighters. The reduction in retirement benefits over what current police and firefighters get only applies to future hires; current staffers are not affected.

The ballot measure was placed on the ballot through a 5-2 vote of the Bakersfield City Council. Councilmember Zack Scrivner sponsored it.

The Bakersfield pension reform measure, along with several other pension reform measures on California local ballots in 2010, have attracted national attention. An article in the Cincinnati Enquirer said of the pension reform measures that California "may again be on the leading edge of a wave of simmering voter discontent."[1]

Robert Melton, president of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 246 in Bakersfield said, "This will be precedent-setting for the state of California."[1]

Election results

Measure D
Approveda Yes 40,305 55.21%
These final, certified results are from the St. Louis County elections office.


The Bakersfield Pension Reform Proposition would:

  • Reduce pensions for police and firefighters to 2% at age 50 based on average salary averaged over three years before retirement.
  • New employees would have to pay 100% of their retirement contribution, up to 9% of their salary, into the California Public Employee Retirement System throughout their career. Currently, the City of Bakersfield pays that entire amount after the employee's first five years on the job.[2]

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Measure D: Shall the City of Bakersfield adopt the following law: Effective January 1, 2011, new City of Bakersfield sworn public safety employees will pay 100% of their employee pension contribution and be eligible for a maximum retirement allowance with the Board of Administration of the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) at a 2% at age 50 formula based on their average salary calculated over 36 highest paid consecutive months.[3]


EMC Research conducted a poll of 500 Bakersfield residents. Police and fire unions paid for and commissioned the poll. The poll showed more voters opposed to the measure than in favor of it. The poll also showed general ignorance of the impact the measure would have on pension. 47% of those polled did not know whether the measure would increase or decrease the pension benefits that the city pays on behalf of its workers.[2]

Date of Poll Pollster In favor Opposed Undecided
June-July 2010 EMC Research 35% 45% 19%

See also