SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – California lawmakers spent much of the day mulling over the sweeping pensions reform bill that would raise the age of retirement, and require public workers pay half their retirement contributions over time. But critics say the bill doesn’t do enough.
“A baby step in the right direction but we’ve got a Mt. Everest to climb over,” said Jon Coupal, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.
Public workers say the bill does too much to paint them as employees freeloading off taxpayer money.
“I’m really disappointed the governor and legislature have chosen to scapegoat employees,” said Scientist Dave Miller.
Miller says most state employees already pay more than half or more of the normal cost of their retirements.
He showed his paycheck to prove it.
“Here’s my net pay, $3606.26. Senior scientist with an MBA from one of the top programs in the country, been at this for over 20 years, that’s my take home,” said Miller.
Miller takes home just over $3,600 a month after deductions, which include nearly $900 paid to his retirement fund.
“The earnings from employee contributions funds 70 percent of retirement funds for state employees and we’re being scapegoated (sic),” said Miller.
CalPERS says most office-based public workers contribute about 8 percent to their retirement, safety workers between 9 and 10 percent, and school employees, not including teachers, about 7 percent.
But critics insist that even with pension reform in place, public workers are still doing better than other workers.
“The public employees are always going to complain whenever there is any modest reduction in their benefits; but if you compare theirs to those in private sector, they’re still making off well,” said Coupal.