Wimpy Pension Deal

Steven Greenhut

Greenhut writes for American Spectator, Reason and the Orange County Register.


Cross posted at CalWatchdog.com

We got the heads up earlier that the governor had negotiated a
blockbuster pension deal with four public employee unions, but now we
see that this is no sort of deal. As the Bee reported, "Newly hired patrol officers and firefighters would come in under a
new pension formula that would allow them to retire at age 55 with 3
percent of the average of their highest three years of pay multiplied
by  their years of service up to 90 percent of that average wage.

Current  employees can retire at age 50. New and existing employees in
all  four groups would increase their pension contributions to the
California Public Employees’ Retirement System from the current 5
percent of their pay to 10 percent."

These are minor concessions that will have absolutely no effect on the
coming pension tsunami for retired public employees, many of whom are
members of the $100,000 Pension Club.

And get this: the unions get some
huge payoffs in return – additional step raises and protection from
earning the minimum wage during a budget standoff. The governor blinks
as usual, but now he gets to claim that he fixed the pension mess and
can say that he has made good on his threat not to pass a budget
without pension reform.

The unions get to pretend that they, too, are interested in reform and
aren’t simply self-interested folks who don’t care about what their
out-sized pensions are doing to the budget and to public services.

If this is the governor’s idea of pension reform, then bring on the initiative process!

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