The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

December 6, 2012
Column Extra: More on new California state retirement formulas

With just 400 to 450 words for our weekly State Worker column, much of what we learn each week never sees print. Column Extras give you some of the notes, the quotes and the observations that inform what's published.

Today's state worker column considers how the change to cheaper pension formulae for state workers hired on or after Jan. 1, 2013, will impact the workplace -- and whether the law will stick. In particular, we looked at the change in the "normal" retirement age from 55 for most of today's workforce to age 62 for most workers hired next year and later.

Because of space constraints, we skipped over several details that would have complicated the column's essential point: The new rules create a de facto second-class employee whose total compensation is lower than that of more-senior colleagues under the better formulas.

For example, we didn't mention that miscellaneous state employees hired after Jan. 15, 2011, were put into a plan at 2 percent at 60. And we made just a passing reference to public safety employee pensions because, while those groups receive some of the most costly benefits, they represent a smaller percentage of the state workforce. Miscellaneous employees constitute about two-thirds of the state's 217,000 workers, so we focused on that category.

But State Worker blog users generally want more information than casual Bee readers, so what follows are some of the resources that lay out more details:

Here is how the state's "normal" retirement age has evolved over the last few years:

The memo from CalHR to department personnel staff statewide that explains changes in the California Public Employees' Pension Reform Act of 2013.

The chaptered version of Assembly Bill 340. Scroll about half way down the document to see the schedule of age factors in the pension formulas for new employees.

CalPERS FAQ about AB 340.

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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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