California pension payout doubles after benefit slump

Retirement payouts for new retirees doubled between 1999 and 201

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California's biggest public pension system saw retirement payouts for new retirees double between 1999 and 2012 as higher pensions established years ago started taking effect.

New CalPERS data analyzed by the Sacramento Bee show state and local police officers and firefighters benefited the most.

In the 14 years covered by the data, average first-month pensions to state police and firefighters went from $1,770 to $4,978. California Highway Patrol officers' first-month retirement payments doubled from $3,633 to $7,418.

Dan Pellissier, a pension-reform advocate, says benefits given away a decade ago "are finally coming home to roost." Pellissier tried and failed to put a measure before voters last year to roll back pensions.

The newspaper says the slow-motion changes show that the impact of rollbacks that took effect this year won't be felt for some time.

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