Officials say a measure assisting retired public housing agency workers would have minimal budgetary effect. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Prop C. would extend retiree health benefits to former public housing employees

Unopposed measure ensures ‘fair treatment’ for city workers

As The City moves to assume responsibility for its federally-funded public housing agency, a ballot measure is needed to ensure those employees transitioning to city government receive credit for all the years they worked when determining their retiree health benefits.

Under Proposition C, former employees of the Housing Authority who are hired by The City will be entitled to retiree health benefits based on their combined years of service. To date, The City has hired 24 housing authority employees, but it could apply to about 50 employees and their families in total.

The federal government ordered The City to take over the housing authority last year after it failed to manage its finances and experienced a surprise shortfall of $20 million for low-income vouchers that required a bailout using both city and federal funds.

In his analysis of the measure, City Controller Ben Rosenfield said, “In my opinion, it would have a minimal impact on the cost of government.”

“For a typical employee who works an additional 20 years and retires from The City, the increased cost to The City under the proposed charter amendment would be in the range of $80,000 in today’s dollars and this cost would be spread over many years,” Rosenfield said.

The board and mayor submitted arguments in support of the measure to the voter pamphlet that said “it is fair and narrowly tailored to ensure employees impacted by the federal government’s requirements get fair treatment in determining their retirement benefits.”

The measure requires a majority vote to pass. There is no organized political opposition.

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