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California Governor Jerry Brown announces his public employee pension reform plan October 27, 2011, at the State Capitol in Sacramento, California.
Now that we’ve heard Gov. Brown’s pension reform plan, it’s time to focus on the feedback.
Labor representatives are disappointed and upset that Gov. Brown hasn’t waited for current pension changes to be implemented; Democrats appear lukewarm but are thus far unwilling to break rank; Republicans state that the plan doesn’t go far enough and want a guarantee that it wouldn’t be unraveled at a future date. In the background: a 2010 study by the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research pointing to a $500 billion dollar gap between what the state owes to future pensioners and what it can pay; CalPERS’ own number ($75 billion, not including health care costs); and a 2011 UC Berkeley Labor Center study that indicates nearly half of California’s workers, both public- and private-sector, will be retiring in or near poverty.
We ask again: Gov. Brown’s reforms, too far or not far enough?
David Lewin, professor of Management at the UCLA Anderson School of Management