California Professional Firefighters

Legislature Sends Pension Rollbacks to Governor

On the last day of the legislative session, the California Senate and Assembly approved legislation that imposes sweeping changes in California's public pension system.

AB 340 imposes a range of rollbacks, and implements them in statute, circumventing the collective bargaining process. The measure was negotiated between legislative leaders and Governor Jerry Brown.

  • New lower tier for almost all employees – local, state, teachers, the works. Public safety retirement would top out at 2.7% at 57;
  • A cap on pensionable income -- $110,000 for those who pay Social Security; $130,000 for those who don’t.
  • Mandatory cost sharing immediately, for all new employees, and by 2018, for current employees;
  • Three-year final compensation averaging;
  • Limits on pensionable compensation, airtime purchases, pension holidays and retroactivity.

CPF President Lou Paulson had the following statement on the passage of the measure:

AB 340 is a disappointing retreat from the principles of collective bargaining, as well as an attack on all working families, especially those who work in public safety.

The legislation proposal imposes the biggest pension rollback in California history, and punishes everyday workers who have already seen their pay go down, their work hours cut by furlough and their jobs disappear to layoffs and downsizing. 

Firefighters depend on the promise of a reasonable, secure retirement in return for their commitment to a difficult and dangerous profession. AB 340 makes that future promise less secure for the next generation and threatens basic retirement security for generations of front line first responders and their families.

Rational pension reform that addresses abuses in the system are in everyone's best interest. But in passing AB 340, the Legislature has surrendered to short-term politic, and compromised the future of California's public workers.

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