Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Golden Spike

Last golden spike on the Transcontinental Railroad
CalPERS recently approved a host of extra bonus-type payments that could be used in the calculation of its pension benefits, raising concerns about pension spiking (artificial end-of-career inflation of the base on which pensions are calculated).  Governor Brown expressed some concern, but objected only to one of these devices. In principle, the legislation he pushed not so long ago was supposed to discourage spiking which irritates the public since it can result in pensions greater than final base salary.

UC is much better at limiting spiking than is CalPERS.  So in one sense we benefit by being able to point to what we don't allow.  On the other hand, when folks get riled up about public pensions generally, UC tends to get pulled into some blanket legislation covering everyone.  We escaped that fate (narrowly) the last time.  We might not be so lucky next time.

You can read about the CalPERS issue at

UPDATE: CalPERS included the one item Brown opposed in its approvals:

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