Here is a Statement from Antioch Chief of Police Allan Cantando prior to tonight’s City Council meeting tonight where they will discuss police pension reform. He made the statement via the Antioch PD’s Facebook page.
Due to recent news stories about proposed changes to pension benefits for new hires in Antioch, I have been approached by some concerned citizens who don’t quite understand what it all means and why the City is looking to give these new hires “sweeter pensions.” While much more detailed information will be available during a discussion on this matter at tonight’s City Council meeting, I wanted to just clarify a few points.
Statewide, all new police employees hired after January 1, 2013, will be covered under a new 2.7% at 57 pension plan. The proposed changes in Antioch would not affect these employees.
Current police employees who remain employed with their agencies will be covered under their current negotiated pension plan.
When a current police employee seeks employment at another agency, he/she is not considered a “new” employee. These veteran employees (who originally became police officers prior to January 1, 2013) are not subject to the new 2.7% at 57 pension plan. Instead, they would receive the new agency’s most recent negotiated pension plan. In Antioch, that would be 3% at 55.
Most of today’s police officers are covered under a 3% at 50 pension plan. So for us to recruit an experienced, veteran employee, we would have to convince him/her to give up a 3% at 50 pension benefit for a reduced 3% at 55 pension benefit. Not likely. The proposal to be discussed tonight is a recruitment tool already being utilized in the nearby cities of Concord, Richmond, Vallejo, San Pablo, and El Cerrito.
If the City Council decides to move forward and implement this proposal, we maintain complete control over whether to hire a veteran employee and extend this benefit, or hire a less tenured employee under the reduced pension benefit. However, if this proposal is not implemented, we will still seek out the best and most talented candidates available to us. The applicant pool will be smaller, and it will take a longer, but I will not lower the standards of professionalism and dedication necessary to serve our great community.
Chief Allan Cantando
This is in response to Contra Costa Times articles and a report from CBS.