Governor Brown Outlines Sweeping Pension Reform Plan

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Gov. Jerry Brown

California Governor Jerry Brown looks on before delivering the State of the State address at the State Capitol on January 31, 2011 in Sacramento. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Mark Seelig was born and raised in the Bay Area...having grown up...
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SACRAMENTO (KCBS) — California Governor Jerry Brown outlined his 12-point pension reform plan at a news conference Thursday and said it was time to fix a broken system.

Brown intends on restructuring what he called a “unsustainable” public employee pension program claiming it will look a whole lot better.

“There are lots of different cities, school boards, the state and lots of different categories. Applying this is going to take some care,” said Brown.

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

Among the components are raising the retirement age from 55 to 67 for new employees who are not public safety workers and more contributions towards retirement and health care by state and local employees.

“The minimum protects the taxpayer while being fair to the employees,” said Brown.

However, one state employee wasn’t so sure about Brown’s plan.

“I feel bad for people that would start out. We have major budget issues. I don’t know that this is the best way to improve it,” he said.

Some estimate that California’s underfunded pension system could ultimately top out at $500 billion.

Brown estimate’s that his plan, which needs legislative approval, would save nearly $900 million a year.

Brown’s plan would require approval from the state Legislature, where union-allied Democrats are likely to balk at some of the significant rollbacks, and where Brown failed to win consensus on pensions with Republicans last spring.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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