The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

January 25, 2012
Pension committee hearing set for today

The Joint Legislative Conference Committee on Pension Reform is scheduled to convene today at 1 p.m. at the Capitol. It's the third in a series of hearings on public employee pensions that is intended to vet the issue ahead of legislation.

Today's hearing will focus on hybrid pensions. The centerpiece proposal of Gov. Jerry Brown's pension plan would move future state and local government employees into hybrid plans, which blend a smaller traditional pension with a more risky defined-contribution component that yields retiree payments based on the outcome of investments.

California Pension Reform has proposed putting a similar hybrid plan or a tougher defined-contribution-only measure on the November ballot. The Sacramento-based group is hoping to raise money to circulate petitions for the measure it believes has the best chance of passing, but it hasn't yet announced which one that is.

Hybrid plans are a non-starter with labor.

All of the pension-change plans in play would alter guaranteed benefits for future employees and increase the out-of-pocket contribution costs for nearly all current workers.

The committee meeting today includes Assemblymen Michael Allen, D-Santa Rosa, Warren Furutani, D-Gardena and Jim Silva, R-Huntington Beach. Senate members include Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Chino, Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto and Mimi Walters, R-Laguna Niguel.

Click here to watch the hearing live on the California Channel, which also archives recorded events for later viewing.

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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 jortiz@sacbee.com.

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