The $100,000 pension club is growing fast.
Almost 9,000 retirees in the California Public Employees’ Retirement System receive at least $100,000 in annual benefits, more than quadruple the number getting that much during 2005, according to a Bee review of CalPERS data.
Collectively, these pensioners will receive about $1.1 billion in benefits this year – roughly triple the general fund budget of the Sacramento City Unified School District.
Such payouts are a hot topic as leaders float competing pension reform plans at the state Capitol. Those who want to curtail big pensions say they are a root cause of huge unfunded liabilities – and the growing pension bill presented each year to taxpayers. Others say large pensions are straw men brandished as a tool to cut the modest benefits of most government workers.