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Critics say pension fix will require more than Jerry Brown's plan

August 30, 2012 |  9:05 am

Lawmakers are expected to vote Friday on Gov. Jerry Brown's public pension proposal -- a plan that requires new workers to work longer and asks all employees to pay more of their own retirement.

The plan has angered labor unions, who say the governor's proposal unfairly targets public employees and circumvents the collective bargaining process.

Others say Brown's decision to back off curbing healthcare benefits for retirees and avoid cutting payouts for current employees means more will have to be done to rein in public pension costs.

As The Times' Evan Halper and Anthony York reported:

"Pension officials predict that Brown's plan, which has yet to be thoroughly vetted by actuaries, would save state and local governments $40 billion to $60 billion over the next three decades — much more than the governor projected. But the shortfall faced by the big state pension funds is much larger than that.

"Officials at California's retirement systems, which are counting on investment returns that many experts say are wildly optimistic, acknowledge that workers have been guaranteed about $164 billion more in retirement payouts than there will be cash available to pay.

"Some of the country's most respected investment gurus, including Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffet and Vanguard founder John Bogle, say the burden on taxpayers will be much larger."


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