US - A partial settlement between the city council and the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System (SDCERS) board was reached yesterday on the eve of their trial date.
The ongoing saga of the city's US$1.4bn pension deficit has prompted a litigation war between city attorney Michael Aguirre and SDCERS. The impasse between the two parties revolves around the controversial MP1 and MP2 benefit increases of 1996 and 2002.
In return for the benefit increases SDCERS allowed the city to reduce the required payments into the pension system thus leaving the city council free to invest that money elsewhere. The issue at hand is whether or not the controversially-awarded benefits, called managers proposal 1 (MP1) and MP2, were legal according to the State's conflict-of interest provisions.
The pension board has been defending its right to the benefit increases whilst Aguirre claims these benifits should be rescinded.
The settlement reached yesterday brought compromises from both sides. The pensions board agreed to accept the final ruling of the court over the question of the legality of the benefit increases. In return the city has agreed to drop a motion it filed in the court which sought to immediately stop the payment of pension benefits to SDCERS.
This request had been filed on the basis that no certification had been provided by the Pensions Board proving that the State's conflict-of interest provisions had not been violated. This paperwork had allegedly not been required by the city auditor at the time of the benefit increases.
The legal proceedings between the institutions continues with the only assured outcome being a sizable bill for the taxpayer.
This week's top stories included Legal & General acquiring MyFutureNow to provide a dashboard service to customers, while also agreeing a hybrid buy-in with a Hitachi scheme.
NEST has signed up to the government-backed Star Initiative, taking all of its 8 million members' pension pots with it.
It is perhaps inherently difficult to find an agreed definition of value for money, but some methodologies could act as a stopgap, argues Jonathan Stapleton.