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Golden State Blues
CA Public Sector Pensions Higher Than Private Sector Salaries

Wages and benefits have stagnated across America—everywhere except in the public sector, that is, and especially in California. According to a new study, the average public sector employee in the Golden State makes more in retirement than the average private sector employee does on the job. The Orange County Breeze reports:

The new study found that the average pension for a retired public employee in California was $68,673 in 2015, before benefits. By contrast, active private-sector workers earned on average just $54,326.

That same year, the maximum Social Security benefit for a high-wage earner retiring at age 66 was just $32,244 – less than half the benefit of a retired government worker.

Study author Ed Ring analyzed 23 of the largest pension systems in California, representing 95 percent of all state and local government retirees – over 1 million retirees.

It may sound nice that California pays its employees so well—for the retirees, surely, working for the state is a sweet deal. But for taxpayers, it’s unsustainable. Meanwhile, current employees and some current retirees can no longer expect to get the money they’ve been promised thanks to massively underfunded pensions systems.

There’s no obvious reason governments need so many well-compensated employees. Increasingly expensive government labor means worse services for the poor and working classes. California needs to get a handle on this problem before it bankrupts the state.

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  • It is a good racket. But not quite as good as being the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party. Just try to google “panamama papers” in china. Oh wait, google is censored haha. Nevermind

  • Wayne Lusvardi

    California is already floating the notion of making pay for teachers tax exempt as a sort of way to dodge having to raise salaries substantially to meet retirement fund obligations. In other words, they are going to give teachers a pay raise by an off budget tax abatement. But isn’t this a race to the bottom of a never-ending spiral of pension system defaults? California is like someone who is precancerous. They feel those crab like pains in their gut but deny that it could be metastatic cancer until it is in Stage 4 and it is too late.

    • Proverbs1618

      Or they are counting on Uncle Sugar to bail them out.

      • Wayne Lusvardi

        This is the problem of the Blue Model. It wants to socialize their losses onto others in the name of “democracy” and “civility” but privatizes who pays for it on the private Working Class, which as we know, is why Donald Trump stole the Democrat voting base and became the president. NAFTA, the Federal Reserve’s Zero Interest Rate Policy and a host of environmental policies and programs combined to shift most of the burdens and side effects of Globalization onto the private working class. In my personal experience in working in several levels of government (military, state, local, special utility districts) Blue Model government never solves anything, it just moves the problem around. And as the saying goes, what goes around, comes around.

        • LarryD

          Another part of the problem is, bureaucracy tends to grow, managers gain status and pay according to the number of people they “manage”, in the private sector, economics forces periodic cutbacks, the public sectors can resist this until the pressure is well neigh catastrophic. And a lot of the public positions are sinecures, non-contributing dead weight. Parasites, to be blunt.

          • Wayne Lusvardi

            Tell me about it. The day I left employment in the government sector I actually experienced other workers spitting on the sidewalk in front of me and taunting me on the day I left employment in an early retirement to take care of a girlfriend with cancer. The culture in government almost everywhere in California after Democrats took power shifted from one of public service to that of featherbedding and ousting anyone who didn’t fit that culture. I could tell you stories ad nauseum.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Things which can’t continue, won’t.

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