Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Proposed Initiative Would Cut Pensions, Raise Retirement Age

Former Assemblyman Roger Niello submitted a proposed initiative to the California Attorney General, the first step toward getting on the ballot in a statewide election.  If approved by voters, the "Public Employee Pension Reform Act" would amend the California Constitution to:

  • Prohibit collective bargaining over pensions.
  • Raise the retirement age for current and future employees to 62.
  • Ban retroactive increases in pension benefits.
  • Cap retirement benefits at 60% of employees salary based on a three-year average.
  • Require pensions be calculated on base pay only.
  • Force employees to pay at least half of retirement contributions.
To pass, the proposed initiative requires a simple majority (50% + 1) and would go into effect immediately.  It has no exceptions for public safety professionals, but exempts members of the Legislature.  The author of the initiative served in the Legislature from 2004 to 2010.   

Before the Public Employee Pension Reform Act can get on the ballot, proponents must collect signatures from approximately 800,000 registered voters, a number equal to 8% of those who voted in the last election for Governor.  The full text of the proposal is below.

- Public Employee Pension Reform Act Proposal -