“Cut Our Own Pensions,” San Jose City Council Says

San Jose City Council members say they'll cut their own pensions before cutting city workers'.

Mayor Chuck Reed and the San Jose City Council want to ask city workers in the debt-wracked South Bay city to cut their pensions -- and to help convince voters to reduce their own payouts, elected officials say they'll cut their own pension funds first.

The council took steps Wednesday to wield the axe at themselves, approving a future meeting on Jan. 24 to examine ways to terminate the pension plans for the mayor and city council, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Pensions are a big issue in San Jose, which is facing a budget deficit for an eleventh-straight year, the newspaper reported. Pensions will cost the city $245 million in the coming fiscal year, up from $73 million a decade ago, according to the newspaper.

If cut, the council's plan would affect 19 current and former politicians, some of whom already receive benefits from prior government jobs, like Councilman Pete Constant, a former police officer.

Constant, for his part, is leading the charge on cutting council benefits, the newspaper reported.

Elected leaders are currently allowed to apply for full retirement at age 55, and benefits increase by 2 percent every year.

San Jose laid off 66 police officers in efforts to cover pension costs last year.

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