California Public Employee Pension Reform Amendment (2012)

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A California Public Employee Pension Reform Amendment (11-0007) was approved for circulation in California as an initiated constitutional amendment. To earn a spot on the state's 2012 ballot, sponsors of the initiative would have had to collect 807,615 signatures by October 20, 2011. However, no signatures were turned in, so #11-0007 will not be appearing on the ballot.

A letter requesting a title and summary for the proposed initiative was signed by Thomas W. Hiltachk on behalf of Roger Niello, and was received by the Attorney General of California's office on March 25, 2011.

In May 2011, Niello said that signature collection was being halted on the proposed initiative: "Our urgency is gone. The reason for filing this measure was to have something in line for a November [2011] election alongside the measure on taxes, but that appears unlikely to happen now."[1] Niello's reference was to the potential 2011 Tax Increase Proposition.

The proposed initiative would have:

  • Set the retirement age for all California public employees, including current workers in every classification, at age 62.
  • Limited retirement benefits for a public agency employee to no more than 60% of the highest annual average base wage of the employee over a period of three consecutive years of employment.
  • Split the employer/employee contribution to pensions equally.
  • Provided public agencies the authority to modify pensions
  • Banned modifying pensions through contract or collective bargaining.
  • Excluded unused leave time from pension calculations.
  • Ended retroactive pension increases.[1]
See also: California Government Employee Pension Reform Act Initiative (2012)

Text of measure

See also: Ballot titles, summaries and fiscal statements for California's 2012 ballot propositions

Ballot title:

Modifies Public Employee Pension Benefits. Eliminate Authority to Set Public Employee Retirement Benefits by Contract or Collective Bargaining. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.

Official summary:

"Sets retirement age at 62 for persons who are or will be public employees. Limits pensions to 60 percent of employee's highest average base wage for three consecutive years. Requires employees match public agency pension contribution. Mandates public employees work fulltime for five consecutive years to receive pension. Provides public agency full discretion to modify pensions, and prevents pension changes through contract or collective bargaining. Retains current pension benefits for legislators and public employees retiring before initiative is effective."

Summary of estimated fiscal impact:

(This is a summary of the initiative's estimated "fiscal impact on state and local government" prepared by the California Legislative Analyst's Office and the Director of Finance.)

"Major reductions in state and local defined benefit pension contributions -- potentially totaling billions of dollars per year (as measured in today's dollars) -- over the long run. These reductions would be offset to an unknown extent by increases in other compensation costs for some public employees, depending on labor market conditions and future decisions made by governmental entities."

External links


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