Mayor Villaraigosa has revealed his plan to curb the rocketing costs of Los Angeles’ pensions, and it hasn’t won him the affection of the city’s collective bargaining units. But when public employees already enjoy some of the most generous benefits of any city or agency in the state, substantial reforms are necessary.

His proposal covers a wide manner of reforms, some which could be described as commonsense, such as his proposal to suspend a 7% increase to benefits for sworn officers next year. By passing on that increase, the city would save nearly $4 million, and when a city is facing layoffs and furloughs, that’s an easy choice.

But without far reaching reforms, the city’s benefits costs, which will reach 1/3rd of the city’s budget, could end up being too great of a strain on the city’s finances.

From the Los Angeles Daily News:

With the city’s financial problems continuing to mount, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Wednesday called for scaling back benefits for retired city workers, ranging from health care cuts to raising the retirement age.

The city is facing a $350 million deficit next year, while pension and health benefits for retirees have been one of the fastest-growing liabilities facing government agencies nationwide that are dealing with an aging workforce.

Health care costs for retired sworn employees in Los Angeles, for example, have spiraled from $31 million to $113 million over the past five years, according to city officials.

Read the full story here.