CAPS RESPONDS TO GOVERNOR BROWN’S ATTACK ON STATE WORKERS
Governor Brown today proposed 12 significant “reforms” for state and local pension systems. He claims that these changes “would end system-wide abuses and reduce taxpayer costs by billions of dollars over the long term…It’s time to fix our pension systems so that they are fair and sustainable over a long time horizon…my plan raises the retirement age and bans abusive practices like ‘spiking’ and ‘air time’ while mandating that public employees pay an equal share of pension costs.”
CAPS President-Elect David Miller responded by saying: “I am disappointed in the Governor’s proposal. The plan doesn’t acknowledge that CAPS and all state employee representatives have already negotiated many of these so-called reforms. It would circumvent the collective bargaining process, when bargaining has proven to work as the best process to make needed changes. Worst of all, the plan would undermine retirement security for current and future state scientists by establishing a “hybrid plan” as the new gold standard for public sector retirement plans in California.”
Among the Governor’s proposals: equal sharing of pension costs by employers and employees; mandatory enrollment of new employees in a “Hybrid” Pension plan which combines a lower defined benefit plan with a defined contribution and social security component; increase the retirement age for new employees, most to 67 years; require retirement be based on a 3 year average of final compensation for new employees; for new employees, calculate benefits based on regular, recurring pay to stop spiking; limit post employment for all employees; require convicted felons to forfeit their public retirement; prohibit retroactive pension increases; prohibit pension holidays; outlaw purchase of “airtime”; add two more appointees to the CalPERS Board ostensibly to increase independence; reduce the employer’s cost for providing health benefits to retirees.
Governor Brown is submitting this proposal to the Legislature for consideration during 2012. CAPS will be there to help shape this proposal in to meaningful reform, not a simply a continued roll back of essential retirement and health benefits.
See the Governor’s proposal here: http://www.capsscientists.org/Twelve_Point_Pension_Reform_Plan.pdf