CalPERS Applications on the Rise as More State Employees Retire
The number of California public employees who are retiring and applying for benefits under CalPERS is on the rise, according to data from the pension fund, the Sacramento Bee's "The State Worker" reports.
Following budget cuts and government furloughs, 52,000 state employees retired between 2009 and 2012.
After the economy rebounded, CalPERS applications declined for eight months straight before this summer. Compared with last year, the number of applications increased by:
- 24% in July;
- 64% in August; and
- 23% in September.
Reasons for Increase in Retirement
According to "The State Worker," some employees could have been waiting for 5% raises that were implemented on July 1, 2013. One year after receiving the raise, employees could retire with a higher baseline salary for pension calculations.
Meanwhile, observers note that pension contributions and health insurance rates have increased.
Richard Reed, an independent labor consultant, said, "So there are no big raises on the horizon for state workers, and they’re paying more for benefits."
Reed added that state employees now have a greater chance of landing a private-sector job after retiring from their public-sector position (Ortiz , "The State Worker," Sacramento Bee, 10/9).
CalPERS Open Enrollment Ends
In related news, the four-week open enrollment period for health insurance through CalPERS ends on Friday.
About 1.4 million public employees in the state are eligible to purchase CalPERS-administrated coverage (Ortiz , "The State Worker," Sacramento Bee, 10/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.