Petaluma to adopt tighter retirement benefits for new employees

The Petaluma City Council in a special meeting Thursday is expected to vote to amend its contract with the California Public Employees' Retirement System to create a second tier of benefits for future hires.

If passed, the changes would take effect Friday. The 8 a.m. special meeting was called to meet a Jan. 1 state deadline for cities to adopt lower benefits formulas for next year.

The changes, which cover non-public safety employees of the city's largest union, AFSCME, require employees to work to age 60 — instead of 55 currently — and retire with a pension equal to 2 percent of their pay per year.

Employees agreed this month to the three-year agreement, which also switches to a three-year salary average for pension calculations instead of a single year.

Earlier, the city reached similar agreements with its police and fire unions. The second tier for those groups calls for a 3 percent maximum yearly accumulation at a retirement age of 55, up from age 50.

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