Judge rejects SD City Employees’ Retirement System lawsuit

A judge rejected a $177 million claim by the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement System in a lawsuit related to pension underfunding, it was announced Wednesday.

SDCERS sought payment from the city for pension benefit increases granted as part of agreements in 1996 and 2002 that led to the underfunding of the retirement system.

In his ruling dated March 16, Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Barton found that SDCERS failed to comply with the city charter in demanding contributions from the city that weren’t approved by the pension board.

In a statement, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said the claim was already resolved through the settlement of two lawsuits more than five years ago that required the city to pay more into the retirement system.

“The city charter doesn’t require the city to pay twice for the same pension benefits,” he said.

SDCERS can amend its case, according to Goldsmith.

SDCERS originally sought $259 million in the claim, which was part of a larger pension lawsuit dating to 2004. The amount was later reduced to $177 million.