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Brown Wants CalPERS Action Now On Rising Pension Costs

Gov. Jerry Brown wants the California Public Employees Retirement System to start accounting for its retirees’ longer life spans, which are driving up pension costs.

The CalPERS board will vote later this month on when to start asking the state and local governments to increase their annual contributions to offset the added cost of people living longer. CalPERS staff recommends waiting two years, but Governor Jerry Brown says that’s unacceptable.

“He wants CalPERS to account for the changes immediately so the state can start paying those costs today, rather than push off the costs into the future,” says Jim Evans in the governor’s press office.

Starting now would cost the state an extra $1.2 billion a year.

The governor’s sense of urgency over CalPERS differs from his stance on the teachers’ pension fund’s $70 billion unfunded liability. In his January budget proposal, Brown called for no action on CalSTRS until 2015. But last week, Assembly Speaker John Pérez said he’d push for legislation this year – and in response, the Brown administration said it’s “ready to go to work.”

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