County implements state-mandated lower pensions for new hires

A day after many of its signature overhaul proposals were rejected in a lopsided union vote, Sonoma County took action Tuesday to implement state-mandated changes to employee pensions.

The changes, most of which do not require labor's approval, affect mainly future hires and are expected to help curb rising taxpayer costs over the long run.

Annual savings are projected to top $1.2 million in the first year and grow to more than $17 million by 2022, according to a county actuary.

County officials cited those figures as progress despite other signs of a growing standoff with labor at the county government campus Tuesday.

"We're starting to move. It's really encouraging," said County Administrator Veronica Ferguson.

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