Pension Costs Are Still Eating Government Budgets

By Edward Ring
About 20 years ago, I read an ad in a local Sacramento newspaper that said “Get a government job and become an instant millionaire.” The ad went on to describe how public bureaucrats in California enjoyed benefits private sector employees can only dream of, including a guaranteed retirement pension worth the equivalent of millions of...

TAGS: California pension reform, California pensions, Edward Ring, public pensions, Social Security

How Local Governments Can Reform Pensions IF the “California Rule” is Overturned

By Ken Churchill
In December of 2018, the California Supreme Court will hear arguments in what is generally referred to as the Cal Fire pension case. The ruling could potentially overturn what is commonly referred to as the “California Rule.” The current interpretation of the rule is that pension benefits, once increased, cannot be reduced for existing employees...

TAGS: "California Rule", California pension reform, pension reform

Resources for California’s Pension Reformers

By Edward Ring
Stampede: a mass movement of people at a common impulse. –  Merriam Webster dictionary The pension reform stampede is about to finally overrun California’s political status-quo for three reasons. (1) Pension debt is out of control. While official estimates are slightly lower, most reasonable estimates put California’s total unfunded liabilities for state and local pensions at...

TAGS: California pension reform

The Mechanics of Pension Reform – Local Actions

By John Moore
Part 2 of 2… Introduction In Part One, I enumerated reforms needed at the state level. That list was in part plugging up the “cheats” used to run up the statewide pension deficit of about a trillion dollars. Employee unions control the state legislature, the attorney general, all executive offices and all retirement administrators; therefore...

TAGS: "California Rule", California pension reform, John Moore, Pacific Grove pension reform, pension reform

San Diego Police Losing Officers To Lucrative Retirements, Not Other Departments

By Robert Fellner
Editor’s Note:  The following article addresses an ongoing debate:  Are local police departments in California where pension reforms have been enacted, San Diego and San Jose in particular, losing officers and new hires faster than they can replace them because of these reforms? Readers of this article are encouraged to also read the response posted...

TAGS: California pension reform

California Pension Reformers Plan New State Ballot Initiative

By Steven Greenhut
A statewide constitutional initiative planned for 2014 would tackle the biggest obstacle to meaningful pension reform: vested benefits. Right now, with certain exceptions, California municipalities may not reduce pension benefits for current employees—unlike in the private sector, where employers can change the terms of employees’ current pension plans, making them less generous. The courts have...

TAGS: BART strike, California pension reform, CalPERS, Pacific Grove pension reform, Public sector pensions, San Jose mayor Chuck Reed, San Jose pension reform

California Attorney General Distorts Democracy to Aid Unions

By Steven Greenhut
We expect all sides in politics to fight hard, given the stakes involved, but our system rests on the broad acceptance of a set of fairly applied rules. We know, for instance, that no matter how nasty the coming presidential election becomes, the loser ultimately will cede power after the final count is in. This...

TAGS: California pension reform

Unions Greet Facts With Emotionalism

By Steven Greenhut
Yet another report released this week confirms the enormous liabilities that California taxpayers must endure to pay for pensions for public employees. The study, released at a Pension Boot Camp for elected officials held in Citrus Heights by the reform group Californians for Fiscal Responsibility, echoed the points made by the Little Hoover Commission, Stanford...

TAGS: California pension reform