Pension Overhaul Gets On Phoenix Ballot For Third Straight Year


On August 22-25, Phoenix voters will get a chance to approve or throw out a ballot measure that would overhaul the city’s pension system.

Residents are getting used to this routine: it’s the third consecutive year a major pension reform proposal has been on the ballot.

The measure, Prop. 103, would funnel new, highly paid hires into a defined contribution/hybrid system and cut them off from the current defined benefit system.

More from the Arizona Republic:

Phoenix voters may be discouraged over how annual pension payments are squeezing out city services. Some worry that the pension fund is on shaky ground. But the mega-pay-outs to those big-shots? Oh, how that has frosted people.

Proposition 103 addresses that frost-laden issue squarely. By creating a hybrid pension/defined contribution system for highly paid new hires, it assures few retiring municipal executives will ever again see six-figure pensions, much less the stratospheric featherbeds we have seen in recent years.

The measure, the third pension issue before Phoenix voters in as many years, is far from a pension “solution.” It will save Phoenix an estimated $38 million over 20 years. So, it is not exactly a life preserver for pension-strained city budgets.


For new Phoenix employees, the pension-padding practice of “spiking” will be more limited. The percentage of their pay dedicated to the retirement fund will cap out at no more than 11 percent, [as opposed to] 18 percent.

Proposition 103 is outlined on page 5 of this document.


Photo credit: “Entering Arizona on I-10 Westbound” by Wing-Chi Poon – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons –

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