Calif. city's lifeguards could see benefit cuts

June 28, 2011 - 3:00 PM

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Officials in one of California's most prominent beach cities are expected to vote on a new contract with fulltime lifeguards that would scale back pension benefits in the aftermath of public outcry over their compensation.

Newport Beach lifeguards now can retire at age 50 with 30 years of service and receive 90 percent of salary.

If the new contract is approved Tuesday night by the City Council, new hires would have a pension worth up to 50 percent less.

The guards would also increase the amount they pay toward their pensions, from 3.5 percent to 9 percent.

The lifeguards came under fire last month after budget negotiations revealed most earned more than $100,000 a year in total compensation.

The contract would trade pension cuts in exchange for saving jobs.