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City of St. Helena

The city of St. Helena expects to save millions of dollars in the long run by accelerating the paydown of its unfunded pension liabilities.

The City Council agreed in 2018 to make a bigger payment to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS). On Tuesday, the council resolved to make additional lump sum payments on an annual basis, paying down its unfunded liabilities on a 15-year amortization schedule rather than a 30-year schedule.

In the 2020-2021 fiscal year, the city will pay $1.1 million to CalPERS, about $86,000 more than it would have paid under the old schedule.

Paying more each year will save the city between $2.6 million and $3.1 million in long-term interest payments.

“The cost savings is significant,” Councilmember David Knudsen said.

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You can reach Jesse Duarte at 967-6803 or jduarte@sthelenastar.com.