The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

December 19, 2012
CalPERS state employee retirements flat for 2012

The number of state workers who applied for their pensions in 2012 was essentially unchanged compared with the previous year, new data from CalPERS shows.

From mid-December 2011 to mid-December of this year, 10,596 state employees took their pensions, just 75 fewer than the number who headed for the exits the year before. CalPERS counts applications from mid-month to mid-month, so the final two weeks of December 2012 will be counted in the January 2013 tally.

The new numbers establish a two-year trend in (slightly) declining state pension applications following 2010's record 11,554 retirements. The spike occurred during a turbulent period of labor unrest under then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration that included furloughs of three days per month, and hikes to employee pension contributions and other issues.

The numbers also reveal that pension applications by all CalPERS members, which includes local governments and school districts, also fell nearly 1 percent this year to 30,136 applicants.

CalPERS serves $1.6 million members. Roughly 1.1 million are currently employed by the state (30.4 percent), a local agency (30.8 percent) or school district (38.8 percent).

Here are charts and spreadsheets with more details on the fund's retirement applications:

Editor's note, Dec. 20, 2012, 10:18 a.m.: An earlier version of this post included an incorrect total for all CalPERS members.

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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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