The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

June 1, 2011
Bill to curb pension-spiking and double-dipping moves forward

The Senate today passed without objection a bill aimed at blocking public employees from spiking their pensions and restricting double-dipping after retirement.

Senate Bill 27 by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, would place new limits on the state's two retirement boards, CalPERS and CalSTRS.

Beginning in July 2012, the boards would not be allowed to consider late-career pay increases designed to boost pension benefits when calculating a retiree's final compensation. The boards have taken similar steps, but the measure further clarifies rules. Beginning in 2013, retirees would have to wait at least 180 days before returning to any kind of public work, including as a private contractor.

"It's one step forward in terms of pension reform," said Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Roseville.

Several law enforcement groups say the 180-day limit is too long because it would require retirees going back to police work to redo costly background checks.

The bill, which passed 39-0, now moves to the Assembly.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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