The new contract that Costa Mesa’s City Council approved for its firefighters Tuesday night enhances retirement benefits in order to encourage 12 firefighters to retire early.
Politicians, activists and observers have different opinions on whether it will save the city money in the long run, though.
Here’s the city’s math:
Allowing firefighters to retire at age 50 instead of 55 will cost the city an extra $700,000 a year.
The city will save $660,000 per year because the firefighters have agreed to forgo a scheduled pay raise of 4.9%.
This trade-off costs the city about $40,000 per year, but the better retirement package is expected to entice 12 firefighters (who earn an average of about $150,000 each annually) to retire early, saving the city a total of about $5.3 million over the next four years, when the contract expires.