If Sup. Elsbernd and the progressives can make a deal, there's a lesson here for the mayor
EDITORIAL Sup. Sean Elsbernd is taking on one of the most complicated and politically tricky issues in San Francisco — reforming the pension fund and health care system for retired city employees. He's right that the system needs reform — but his measure has some serious drawbacks and needs some significant amendments.
The problems facing the system are so confusing, and the legal and financial aspects so arcane, that it's hard for anyone to grasp the full situation. But we can sum it up pretty simply:
San Francisco's pension fund is in far better shape than pension funds in many cities and is a long way from any financial crisis. But over the next few years, thanks to weak stock market performance, the city's cash obligation — the amount of general fund money that must be paid into the retirement system — is going to rise quickly into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
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