11:25 PM PDT on Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Press-Enterprise

The Wildomar City Council this week will discuss whether to end the city’s contributions to their pensions.

The savings of such a move would mostly be symbolic. Council members are paid just $300 a month, so Wildomar contributes about $57 each month for their pensions.

Wildomar Councilman Ben Benoit, who broached the idea at the council’s last meeting, said the city shouldn’t be paying for those members who want a pension.

“I feel really strongly that employees should have to pay for their contribution,” Benoit said.

Benoit said the city should also examine how much it will pay toward the pensions of future employees.

CalPERS is the state’s retirement fund for public employees. City, county and state workers and their employers pay into the system each year to help fund the account.

Wildomar currently pays both the employee contribution of 8 percent and the 11 percent employer contribution, Assistant City Manager Gary Nordquist said.

The city, which has a budget of $11.2 million, spends about $3,420 on pension payments for its five-person council.

It takes five years for a worker to become vested in CalPERS, so City Council members need to win at least two four-year terms to be eligible.

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