San Bernardino Seal


Thu Mar 26, 2015 – 6:28pm EDT

(Reuters) – The bankrupt California city of San Bernardino revealed on Thursday details of its deal with the state’s public pension system Calpers, in which the retirement fund will be paid in full under the city’s bankruptcy exit plan.

San Bernardino announced last year it intended to pay the powerful California Public Employees’ Retirement System in full under its bankruptcy plan, while cutting its bondholder debt. But it had not before revealed details of the deal with Calpers, America’s largest public pension fund with assets of $300 billion.

San Bernardino, a city of 205,000 located 65 miles east of Los Angeles, declared bankruptcy in August 2012 with a $45 million deficit. It is one of a handful of municipal bankruptcies, along with Detroit, Michigan and Stockton, California, that has been closely watched by the $3.6 trillion U.S. municipal bond market.

Bondholders, public employees and state and local governments want to understand how financially distressed cities handle their debts to Wall Street, compared with other creditors such as large pension funds during Chapter 9 protection.

San Bernardino was recently ordered by the federal bankruptcy judge overseeing the case to make public the Calpers deal. The city published details before a court hearing in the case on Thursday.

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