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San Jose Retirees Won't Be Getting Pension Bonus Checks

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – It looks like San Jose retirees will not be getting a bonus check this year from the city's pension program after the city council voted to block those payments.

What was eliminated was the so-called "13th check" that goes out to city retirees in years when pension fund earnings exceed targets. However, Mayor Chuck Reed said that with the city's retirement plans under-funded by a projected $3 billion, bonuses shouldn't be given out.

"We shouldn't be bonusing money when we have that kind of a gaping hole in our finances," said Reed.

Others on the council, including Councilman Ash Kalra, said they were worried about city retirees who are living hand-to-mouth, and truly need that extra check.

KCBS' Matt Bigler Reports:

"Some of us have a concern about those who are living in poverty, that are being affected disproportionately by others who may have retired a year or two ago and have a healthier retirement," said Kalra.

In the end the council voted 8 to 3 to continue suspending the bonus checks. Those checks will be permanently blocked if the city's pension reform ballot measure passes in June.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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