By Dale Kasler
Published: Thursday, Mar. 13, 2014 – 3:47 pm

CalPERS and the bankrupt city of San Bernardino, headed for a possible legal showdown over pension contributions, said this week they’ve made headway in mediation talks.

In a filing Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Riverside, lawyers for the city said two all-day mediation sessions in Los Angeles last month yielded “significant and substantial progress” with the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

Asked about the city’s filing, CalPERS spokesman Brad Pacheco said, “We agree with the city and can confirm that we have made progress as they have described.”

San Bernardino is roughly $14 million behind on its CalPERS payments, and city officials have openly talked about challenging the pension fund in court over the city’s $24 million-a-year contribution. CalPERS has said it wants to work with the city, but also argues that the annual payments must be maintained in full.

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