Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Gov. Brown announces pension plan for public workers

Governor Jerry Brown JPL Visit

Andres Aguila/KPCC

Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled a pension agreement today that could save California billions by requiring public workers to pay more toward their retirement, while increasing the retirement age and capping benefits.

Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled a plan Tuesday that he says will save the state tens of billions of dollars by capping pensions, increasing the retirement age, and requiring employees to pay more toward their retirement.

The bill is written to apply to all public employees in California — state and local — though it would not affect charter cities and counties such as Los Angeles. University of California employees also would be exempt. 

Under the bill, which will be heard by a committee in Sacramento Tuesday afternoon, current and future public employees would pay half of their pension costs. Unions for current employees would have up to five years to negotiate the increase before it becomes automatic. The increase would be immediate for new employees.

“This was not easy," said Brown, speaking at a press conference at the Reagan State Office Building in downtown Los Angeles. "We’ve been negotiating for months up in Sacramento, but people have come together in the Legislature to bite the bullet and to clean up what has been a big mess.”

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