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California Proposition 48, Cap on Retirement Payments (1986)

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California Proposition 48 was on the June 3, 1986 statewide primary ballot in California as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was overwhelmingly approved.
  • Yes: 3,649,784 (85.1%) Approveda
  • No: 638,678 (14.9%)

Proposition 48 set constitutional limits on retirement benefits for persons covered by the California Legislators' and Judges' Retirement Systems. It applied to those who became members of those retirement systems after December 31, 1986.

The official ballot summary said, "Limits payment of retirement allowances to members of the Legislators' Retirement System or the Judges' Retirement System, or to their beneficiaries or survivors, to higher of (1) the salary received by the person currently serving in the office in which the retired person served or (2) the highest salary received by the retired person while serving in that office. Limitation on retirement allowances applies only to members entering retirement systems for first time on or after January 1, 1987. Authorizes Legislature to define terms used in the measure. Contains other provisions."

Constitutional changes

California Constitution
Flag of California.png
Preamble
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVI
VIIVIIIIXXXA
XBXIXIIXIIIXIII A
XIII BXIII CXIII DXIVXVXVIXVIIIXIXXIX AXIX BXIX C
XXXXIXXII
XXXIVXXXV
See also: Amending the California Constitution

Proposition 48 added Section 11 to Article VII of the California Constitution.

The exact language added to the state's constitution because of Proposition 48 was:

SEC. 11. (a) The Legislators' Retirement System shall not pay any unmodified retirement allowance or its actuarial equivalent to any person who on or after January 1, 1987, entered for the first time any state office for which membership in the Legislators' Retirement System was elective or to any beneficiary or survivor of such a person, which exceeds the higher of (1) the salary receivable by the person currently serving in the office in which the retired person served or (2) the highest salary that was received by the retired person while serving in that office.
(b) The Judges' Retirement System shall not pay any unmodified retirement allowance or its actuarial equivalent to any person who on or after January 1, 1987, entered for the first time any judicial office subject to the Judges' Retirement System or to any beneficiary or survivor of such a person, which exceeds the higher of (1) the salary receivable by the person currently serving in the judicial office in which the retired person served or (2) the highest salary that was received by the retired person while serving in that judicial office.
(c) The Legislature may define the terms used in this section.

Fiscal impact

The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said, "This measure could produce minor savings to the state in future years. Such savings would occur if, over a period of time, the rate of inflation exceeds the increases in salaries paid to the current officeholders."

Path to the ballot

The California State Legislature voted to put Proposition 48 on the ballot via Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 (Statutes of 1985, Resolution Chapter 90).

External links