Beutler says “eventually” he and his cabinet will cut their own retirement benefit
During a radio show this morning, Mayor Chris Beutler acknowledged that he and his cabinet and aides still get a very generous retirement benefit but said “eventually” those will be adjusted.
Eventually? Beutler first went public with his plan to reduce city employees’ retirement benefits in July 2009. Last year he got all but one city union to agree to reduce the match for new hires (from a 2-to-1 match to a 1.3-to-1 match). All the while, he and his cabinet have continued to take an even more generous deal.
According to data from the city, Beutler and his aides and department heads get about 12 percent of their salary in retirement compensation annually. And I’ve recently learned they get the city contribution whether they contribute a match or not. So that’s a better deal than any city employee gets. They get about 12 percent of their salary (most of the directors’ have six-figure salaries) and don’t have to match it to get it.
But now that Winterized has publicized the fact that Beutler never reduced his own retirement match, even while lobbying city employees to do so, he’s acting as though he’d always intended to change it.
“We need to follow through and adjust all of the pension ratios eventually,” he said on Jack & John today. “We haven’t gotten to some narrow categories but that process will come down to everybody in the end. We’ve been working with the broad categories, the big things… .”
So we are to believe that even though he has had since July 2009 to adjust the benefit for himself and his cabinet and aides, he just hasn’t gotten around to it? Wouldn’t a better approach have been to announce that he wanted to reduce retirement matches for city employees, and he would be the one to go first?
The radio host asked Beutler whether he couldn’t have just unilaterally made that change, and Beutler said he didn’t know.
“But we will get there,” he said. “It’s coming.”
Don’t believe me? Hear it here.