A $100,000-a-year pension for a public employee used to be a benefit enjoyed by only a few top officials; now it is collected by one of every 50 pensioners.
The number of public employees who have retired to collect pensions of more than $100,000 a year has quadrupled since 2005, according to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.
This year, CalPERS will pay out more than $1 billion to the nearly 9,000 pensioners with six-figure benefits – a group that accounts for about 2 percent of all the system’s beneficiaries.
The proliferation of six-figure pensions is in large part due to enhanced benefits that were handed out over the past decade or so, according to experts.
Citing the unsustainable nature of the pensions, public finance experts are calling for immediate reforms that include capping the maximum amount a pensioner can collect.