The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

September 15, 2011
Another pension initiative qualifies for signature collection

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 100806 ballot-box.jpgA sweeping measure that would curb pensions for current government employees, retirees and future hires has been given approval to collect signatures to qualify it for a statewide vote.

The "Pension Solvency Act" would take effect immediately upon voter approval and apply to all California public pension systems. The provisions include:

• Strips all forms of compensation except base pay from pension calculations.
• Sets a $100,000 annual base pay cap for pension calculations.
• Imposes a "Diet-COLA" by cutting in half the cost-of-living-adjustments granted retirees when a pension system is less than 97 percent funded.
• Requires government employers pay their full annual obligations to their pension funds.
• Calls on state and federal authorities to investigate "Cal PERS Board of Directors, Cal PERS executives, and Cal PERS top-level management & investors" for a variety of crimes including fraud, interstate transportation of stolen property, RICO Act violations and more.
• Requires authorities investigate any public employee whose pay exceeds $250,000 per year for the same crimes.
• Creates a "California Separate Private Employees' Retirement System" that mirrors the CalPERS system for private sector workers.

The measure's proponents Ted Costa and Robert J. Matteoli have until Feb. 10 to collect the signatures of 504,760 registered voters to get the measure on the ballot.

Costa launched the recall movement that pushed Gov. Gray Davis out of office. He's also CEO of Sacramento-based People's Advocate, Inc.

This is the latest of several public employee pension/compensation initiatives in the signature-collecting phase. Will any muster up the cash for a serious drive to qualify? At this point we doubt it.
The organization's website describes itself as "dedicated to educating the public regarding issues of taxation, government spending, financing, and local, state and national government structures."
Pension Solvency Act


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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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