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About 30 years ago, the city of San Diego opted out of Social Security for its employees. A proposed ballot initiative for 2012 would give most new city workers 401(k)s instead of pensions. If it qualifies for the ballot box and passes, the city will have to face a choice about re-enrolling in Social Security.

In this week’s edition of San Diego Explained, our Scott Lewis and NBC7 San Diego’s Catherine Garcia look at what a proposed pension reform initiative could mean for the future of guaranteed retirements for city workers.

One note: In the context about how the mayoral candidates feel about the Social Security option, we paraphrase District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis as being supportive of how the measure’s written with regard to that point. It may sound like she’s supportive of the initiative, which wouldn’t be true. She opposes the initiative.

Here’s the video, produced in partnership with NBC7 San Diego:

For more on the topic:

• Lewis’ column on how one person could determine the city’s Social Security future.

• Our San Diego Explained video on the proposed ballot measure.

Dagny Salas is the web editor at You can contact her directly at or 619.550.5669.

Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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