Budget negotiations revealed in May showed that most lifeguards earned more than a $100,000 a year in total pay.
Base salaries for Newport Beach lifeguards range from $58,000 for the lowest-paid officer to $108,492 for the top-paid battalion chief, according to a 2010 city report on lifeguard pay.
With overtime, more than half of the 13 fulltime lifeguards cleared $100,000, while the rest made between $59,500 and $98,500. Adding in pension contributions, medical benefits, life insurance and other pay, two battalion chiefs earned more than $200,000 in 2010, while the lowest-paid officer made more than $98,000.
These salary levels prompted a public outcry.
Under the new contract, new hires will have a pension worth up to 50 percent less.
The guards will also increase the amount they pay toward those pensions from 3.5 to 9 percent.
The lifeguards whose salaries were in question pointed out that they hold management roles, have decades of service and are considered public-safety employees under the fire department, the same as fire captains and battalion chiefs.
The fulltime guards train more than 200 seasonal lifeguards who make between $16 and $22 an hour, run a junior lifeguard program that brings in $1 million a year and oversee safety on nearly seven miles of sand.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.