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City to Vote on Pension Perk for Alameda Firefighters

On May 7th, Alameda City Council is expected to vote to allow firefighters to purchase Calpers service credit. Taxpayers will pick up the tab. (File photo.)

On May 7th, Alameda City Council is expected to vote to allow firefighters to purchase Calpers service credit. Taxpayers will pick up the tab. (File photo.)

On May 7th, Alameda City Council will vote on a contract amendment to the City’s agreement with Calpers, the state employee pension plan, that would allow Alameda firefighters to purchase service credit for past work as a civilian federal firefighter at the former Naval Air Station Alameda. Taxpayers will pick up the costs, which are unknown, as related expenses would come from the City’s general fund.

According to reports to City Council from City Manager John Russo, the change is expected to benefit from 15 to 20 Alameda firefighters whose jobs as federal firefighters were terminated with the closure of Naval Air Station Alameda in 1997.

Mr. Russo notes that any increases to the City of Alameda’s Calpers employer contribution rates for fire department employees would have to be paid from the City’s general fund. However, those costs are unknown, according to Russo, as the amount depends on the participation rate and the amount of service time participants purchase.

The action is pursuant to an agreement that the City of Alameda made with the firefighters union in 2011, under section 14.2 of the Memorandum of Understanding.

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