California Professional Firefighters

CPF Responds to Governor's 12-Point Pension Proposal

Governor Jerry Brown has released a 12-point “pension reform plan” that calls for higher retirement age, shifts substantial costs to workers, imposes a risky “hybrid” plan for new employees and could upend hundreds of local bargaining agreements.

Details of the governor’s plan and a breakdown of its potential impact on your members can be found HERE

California Professional Firefighters President Lou Paulson offered the following response:

“The pension proposals outlined in the governor’s plan threaten basic retirement security for generations of front line first responders and their families.

“Throughout California, firefighters have negotiated millions of dollars in concessions – lower tiers for new hires, higher contribution rates and restrictions on pension spiking. By mandating a Sacramento solution, the governor’s proposal short-circuits a local bargaining process that is already producing real savings, and contradicts his campaign pledge to put more control into the hands of local government.

“As firefighters, we’re obviously concerned about the lack of specifics on safety retirement. Increasing the retirement age for firefighters and police officers could actually impose significantly higher costs to public agencies, especially in the short term. According to a RAND study, firefighters over the age of 55 have an injury rate that is more than a 60-percent greater than firefighters under the age of 45 years.

“Firefighters and police officers face an uncertain future every day on the job. Many don’t even make it to retirement – their careers shortened by injury, illness or death. The governor’s pension proposal adds a new level of uncertainty in the one area where we had peace of mind: a secure retirement.

“We believe that a better approach is to work together on balanced proposals that eliminate abuses, sustain the retirement system and promote a secure retirement not just for public employees, but for all workers in our state.”

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