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Pension Math: How California's Retirement Spending is Squeezing the State Budget

Pension Math: How California's Retirement Spending is Squeezing the State Budget

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Published by jon_ortiz

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Published by: jon_ortiz on Dec 13, 2011
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How Caliornia’s Retirement Spending is SqueezingThe State Budget
Joe Nation, Ph.D.
December 13, 2011
“There is no doubt that we are going to have to adjust our pensions so that moneycoming in is going to be equal to what we can expect what the money going outwill be. It’s not even a matter o higher math. It’s th-grade arithmetic.”
— Caliornia Governor Jerry Brown, Oct. 13, 2011
1 Bloomberg, “Caliornia Pension Changes to Require Voter Approval, Brown Says,”
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-10-13/california- pension-changes-to-require-voter-approval-brown-says.html,
retrieved Oct. 14, 2011.
| i
Caliornia’s public employee pension problems are welldocumented. Even under the most optimistic assumptions,the unded ratios or CalPERS, CalSTRS, and theUniversity o Caliornia Retirement Plan (UCRP) all wellbelow accepted standards. Yet there remains little appetiteto address the magnitude o these problems, and recentocial proposals produce only limited results.This report examines the current state o Caliornia’spublic employee pension systems. It examines benet levels,accounting methods and assumptions, projected uturecosts, measured by contribution rates, and it outlines thelikely impact o increased pension spending on Caliornia’snon-pension expenditures. It briely examines recentproposals to tackle the pension problem, and it identiespolicy options to reduce the magnitude o the problem.This project was supported in part through undingrom The James Irvine Foundation and Caliornia Forward.The author is wholly responsible or its content.
Comments may be directed to:
 Joe Nation, Ph.D.Stanord Institute or Economic Policy Research (SIEPR)366 Galvez StreetRoom 109, Gunn BuildingStanord, CA 94305-6050

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