(PR) HJTA Launches Radio Campaign against Extravagant Pension Increases

Taxpayers oppose plan to provide workers 75% of salary upon retirement ‰ÛÒ while Water rates in Southern California climb!

Sacramento — The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association announced today the launch of a new Radio ad to oppose an outrageous proposal to increase employee pensions at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

The new ad targets a proposed pension increase at the Metropolitan Water District that would provide nearly 2000 workers with 75% of their final salaries upon retirement. The employees would not have to contribute a single dime toward their pension.

“Working for a government agency these days is like winning the lottery” said Jon Coupal President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. “Unfunded pension liabilities have run amuck in California. In this particular case the cost of these bloated benefits will be placed on the backs of everyone who pays for water in Southern California right in the middle of a recession.”

The proposed pension increase comes after the Metropolitan Water District actually increased water rates by more than 20% with an additional rate increase of 19% slated for 2011. In service areas such as Oceanside a single family household will likely see an annual rate increase of $125.

To make matters worse the Metropolitan Water District’s pension system itself has had a $400 Million decline over the past year and the system currently needs $30 Million annually just to “catch up” to pay its existing unfunded healthcare liabilities.

The pension issue affects approximately 19 million water customers in the Metropolitan Water District’s service area in Los Angeles Ventura Orange County Riverside San Bernardino and San Diego County. It provides water to 26 other agencies.

“This greed of golden parachutes for public employees has got to end” said Coupal. “During the worst economic downturn in 70 years the Water District should be searching for ways to cut costs not searching for ways to pad their workers’ retirement accounts. The public deserves better than this.”

HJTA’s radio ad will air leading up to a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Water District next Tuesday October 13 in Los Angeles. The Radio ad also invites residents to sign an Online opposition letter which will be delivered to the Board of Directors during that meeting.