San Diego’s unfunded pension liability has increased to $2.145 billion, according to the annual valuation released this week.

That’s actually good news for the city budget. The city’s annual pension payment is $26.5 million less than it expected, resulting in substantial savings to the projected deficit.

This year’s payment is $231.2 million, which also is up slightly from last year.

A Mayor’s Office spokeswoman said the city still is calculating what percentage of that amount must be borne by the city’s day-to-day operating budget. But city financial officials expect it to be around $180 million. That’s 16 percent of its $1.1 billion day-to-day budget.

The retirement system remains just 67 percent funded, meaning the city has about two-thirds of what it expects to owe to retirees and employees. The funding percentage is up slightly from last year, but still lower than all but two years in the past decade.

Retirement system investments were up 13.4 percent this year, but the system still took a hit because it’s paying off the massive losses it took last year. The system also saved money because of a salary freeze.

The figures are better than the city had expected. The day-to-day operating budget’s portion would be about $20 million less than projected.

The city’s estimated $70-plus million deficit will decrease by that amount.

Please contact Liam Dillon directly at or 619.550.5663 and follow him on Twitter:

Liam Dillon was formerly a senior reporter and assistant editor for Voice of San Diego. He led VOSD’s investigations and wrote about how regular people...

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