Earlier today Governor Jerry Brown announced that he had reached a deal with state lawmakers that would mean sweeping changes for California’s public pensions system, and affect hundreds of thousands of state workers. The new rules would cap pensions while increasing the amount employees pay in; they would also increase the retirement age by up to seven years.
At a press conference Governor Brown said the move would save the state tens of billions of dollars, though the pension office has not yet run the numbers. “If the legislature approves these reforms, public retirement benefits will be lower than when I took office in 1975,” said Brown.
Public employee unions decried the proposed changes, saying they would make it harder for the state to recruit and keep crucial employees like police officers, firefighters, and teachers. Senate Republicans, on the other hand, argued that the Governor’s proposal doesn’t go far enough, and that they would prefer to see even more drastic cuts.
State legislators will vote on the pension package later this week.