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California pension reform bill gets OK

The California Legislature on Friday approved a state pension reform bill.

The legislation, which is expected to be signed by Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr., was approved 48-8 by the Assembly and 38-1 by the state Senate.

Action was swift on the proposal, a compromise plan between Mr. Brown and state Democratic legislators that was introduced on Aug. 28.

The plan, which requires new and existing state workers to contribute more toward their pensions and raises retirement ages for many employees, doesn't include a hybrid pension plan that Mr. Brown had sought. Democratic legislators — who have majorities in both the Assembly and Senate, and receive huge political contributions from public employee unions — refused to go along with the hybrid proposal.

The compromise bill limits benefits to being based on the first $110,000 of an employee's salary if they receive Social Security and around $130,000 if they do not.

The legislation, which takes effect in January, increases the retirement age for new state, county and municipal workers to 67 from 55 for general employees and to 57 from 50 for public safety workers. The pension package also contains anti-spiking provisions that are supposed to prevent employees from boosting their benefit in their last years of employment.