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Pension tension: Reform hearings to begin

5:12 AM, Dec 1, 2011   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA - Gov. Jerry Brown's 12-point plan to overhaul California's pension system is about to get some scrutiny Thursday.

A pension reform conference committee will hold a hearing at the Capitol at 1 p.m.

If approved, the plan could be a game changer for the state's 1.6 million public employees and retirees.

The plan would:

  • Prohibit pension "spiking"
  • Switch pension programs from defined benefits to a 401K savings plan for new hires
  • Raise retirement age from 55 to 67

The plan could save California $900 million annually. However, unions intend to fight any cuts to retirement benefits.

"I think people believe that change needs to happen but I don't think that means throwing out the entire pension system for a new one which benefits wall street," SEIU's Terry Brennand said.

Brown's 12-point plan will require approval by the legislature and voters.


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