Proposed Constitutional Targets Public Employee Retirements
Updated On: Feb 18, 2017
SACRAMENTO, CA. – UPEC Local 792 just received this information on a resolution that will reduce future benefits of current and future government employees.
Business Manager Chris Darker said public employees need to be aware of this new Senate Constitutional Amendment filed February 15, 2017. “This is another attack on defined benefit pension plans moving toward the goal of eliminating pension plans completely”, said Darker.
This is a resolution to propose to the people of the State of California an amendment to the Constitution of the State, by adding Section 17.5 to Article XVI thereof, relating to public employee retirement benefits.
The Legislative Counsels Digest stated the following: Existing statutory law establishes various public agency retirement systems, including, among others, the Public Employees’ Retirement System, the State Teachers’ Retirement System, the Judges’ Retirement System II, and various county retirement systems pursuant to the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937, and these systems provide defined pension benefits to public employees based on age, service credit, and amount of final compensation. The California Constitution permits a city or county to adopt a charter for purposes of its governance that supersedes general laws of the state in regard to specified subjects, including compensation of city or county employees. The California Constitution establishes the University of California as a public trust with full powers of organization and government, subject only to specified limitations. Under their respective independent constitutional authority, charter cities and counties and the University of California may and have established retirement systems. The California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA) generally requires the retirement systems to which it applies to modify their provisions to conform with its requirements. PEPRA excepts from its provisions retirement systems established by charter cities and counties and the University of California. PEPRA requires the retirement systems that it regulates and that offer defined benefit plans to provide specified defined benefit formulas and prescribes requirements regarding employer and employee contributions to defined benefit pension plans.
This measure would permit a government employer to reduce retirement benefits that are based on work not yet performed by an employee regardless of the date that the employee was first hired, notwithstanding other provisions of the California Constitution or any other law.
UPEC representatives and legislative staff will be following SCA no. 8 closely and keeping members informed.