US - San Diego's retirement board has voted to speed up the payback of the US$1bn pension fund deficit in the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System (SDCERS), by swtiching from a 30-year to a 20-year payback schedule.
The move will enable the city, which has been under the corruption spotlight for years, to repay the missing money earlier and avoid interest payments.
The announcement came as San Diego finally received its FY03 audit letter from KPMG after years of delays, marking the city’s progression towards fiscal credibility.
The city, which had its credit rating suspended in 2004, has been unable to borrow money on the public markets since then amid claims of non-disclosure regarding pension fund liabilities, amongst others.
It is hoped the FY04 and FY05 audits will be released quickly, followed by FY06 and FY07 within the next 12 months.
Earlier this month, Sanders announced 53 of the 121 changes called for in 2006's damning Kroll report had been completed.
The report found key figures in the city council and the public employees’ pension fund guilty of financial mismanagement and shirking their responsibility. The report recommended a raft of "remediation actions" to help the city tackle its growing pension deficit and restore public faith in the system.
Sanders also said the city’s pension fund, SDCERS, had made a number of changes to its organisational structure, financial reporting, internal controls, actuarial services, staff qualifications, board structure and city funding.
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