Nielsen Joins Legislative Republicans In Introducing Governor's Pension Reform Plan

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

SACRAMENTO (February 22, 2012) - Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) together with both Assembly and Senate Republican colleagues today presented the Governor's Twelve Point Pension Reform Plan. The Republican legislators think that the Legislature should enact the Governor's plan along with other necessary reforms that they would propose.

"I am pleased that the Governor has taken the first steps toward reforming a broken pension system," said Nielsen. "The current pension system in California is unsustainable and insolvent. This begs for reform for the future that protects retirees and makes it fair for taxpayers and does not overburden them and their children."

Nielsen said that the Governor's plan contains many reform ideas that Republicans have been talking about for years. He also pointed out that although Democrats have previously mentioned Pension Reform, when it came to implementing it they have been stunningly silent.

"It has been disappointing to see not one Democrat in the Legislature come forward to even propose the Governor's plan as a legislative measure," said Nielsen. "My fellow Republicans and I look forward to working across party lines to pass the Governor's reforms without delay."

Among the proposed pension reforms are:

  • Eliminating the process of "pension spiking" for employees who boost their retirements right before they leave state service.
  • Ending the practice of state workers artificially boosting their retirements by purchasing "airtime" for time they haven't actually worked.
  • Raising the retirement age requiring more out-of-pocket contributions and providing reasonable health and retirement benefits that will not bankrupt the state or local governments for newly-hired public employees.

"Enacting pension reform should be one of the most important and immediate budget priorities for the Legislature, and Republicans are introducing a host of other reforms this session that will bring significant budget savings," said Nielsen.