Pension Crisis

Voters Reject Pension Reform in Phoenix

Would have directed new city employees into 401(k)-style programs


Phoenix voters Tuesday night rejected a ballot measure that would have closed the city's pension system and replaced it with a 401(k)-style retirement plan for new employees.

Unofficial results indicate voters soundly rejected Proposition 487, with only a handful of precincts left to be tallied. The initiative would have forced the city to freeze its pension system for general employees and instead contribute a portion of future hires' pay to a private retirement plan.

The outcome was a major victory for city labor unions, who argued Prop. 487 would hurt public workers and cost taxpayers about $358 million more over the next 20 years, with potential savings not kicking in until more than 20 years down the road.