San Diego. The major of San Diego announced that it will be using a request for proposals to offer new hire employees the opportunity to obtain death and disability insurance. NBC7 Investigates discovered how firefighters and lifeguards hired after June 2012 have been working without defined benefits after the approved pension reform passed.
City officials stated that it is their obligation to provide death and disability insurance. The only concern is how the benefits will be structured and where the funding will come from aside from the General Fund.
The San Diego City Employees’ Retirement system handled the pensions for firefighters and lifeguards. The details on payouts to families or members were explained thoroughly.
SDCERS paid approximately $31,233,762 in benefits to 808 disabled public safety members for the fiscal year ending in June 30, 2012.
In June 2012, voters approved Proposition B which means that new hire city employees would be switched over from a pension plan to a 401k plan. In the transition of these changes, disability and death benefits were omitted.
The city has hired 58 new firefighters and 34 new lifeguards offering no death or disability benefits.
When a new fire fighter employee, Hobie Porterfield, was asked about the lack of these benefits, he confessed that he had no idea that he had no death or disability benefits since all the attention was given to the change from pension plans to 401k plans.
Officials announced Tuesday that the council will render these benefits as soon as they met with labor organizations.