Huntington Beach Management to Pay More for Pensions

As a cost-saving measure, the Huntington Beach City Council approved an agreement with its top city management Monday night that for three months nearly doubles the managers’ contributions to their pensions.

The measure is expected to save the city $83,500 between mid-March and mid-June, with managers increasing their own contributions to their retirement from 2.25 percent of their paychecks to 4.25 percent. Leave of absence time is limited to 700 hours.

Under the agreement, which the City Council passed on a 7-0 vote without discussion, the management employees’ union can opt to extend the contribution increases and leave limitation for an additional three months.

The new rate, however, falls short of what managers in some nearby cities now contribute toward their pensions.

In January, Costa Mesa’s top management agreed to pay 10.47 percent of salary toward its pensions, which the city says is the maximum amount allowed by law. That move appeared to set the stage for the city to request that its rank-and-file employees also increase their pension contributions.

And on Monday night, the Santa Ana City Council approved an agreement with city management to increase the managers’ contributions toward their pensions to 8 percent of pay. The police and fire chiefs will now pay 9 percent of salary toward their retirement benefits, and two employee groups also opted to defer scheduled pay increases.

In total, Santa Ana’s revised agreements are expected to save the city $786,000 over the next three fiscal years.