CalChamber Coalition for Pension Reform

New Installment of CalChamber News Released

The California Chamber of Commerce has launched the CalChamber Coalition for Pension Reform to urge legislators to support the pension reform principles Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced in October 2011.

California Pension Reform Facts

  • Governor Brown and legislative leaders have said their top priority before the end of session is to reform our “broken pension system.” As pension costs rise, funding for higher education, parks, courts and social services is crowded out. It is important for state leaders to heed the Governor’s advice to “do something real” on pensions.
  • Pension costs are the fastest-growing expenditure for city and county governments. In 1999, pension costs were 4.1% of aggregate municipal spending; by 2011, that figure had more than doubled to 9.6%. Between 1999 and 2010, pension spending grew at 11.4% per year, twice the growth rate for education, public safety, parks, health and sanitation. According to the Los Angeles Times, this will mean “more layoffs or pay cuts for public employees, higher taxes, fewer services, or all of the above.”
  • Voters in three of the four largest cities in the state—San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco—have approved sweeping reforms to their employees’ pension plans. Other cities, large and small, are prepared to follow suit to avoid the fate of Stockton and San Bernardino, two cities that have recently declared bankruptcy.
  • The CalChamber Coalition for Pension Reform believes that Governor Brown’s proposal is an important first step toward pension reform. Much more needs to be done to fix our broken pension system, but this plan is an important step in the right direction and a clear sign to Californians that the issue is being taken seriously.
CalChamber Coalition for Pension Reform

Sign Statement of Principles

CalChamber is urging businesses to sign and return to CalChamber the Statement of Principles to express support of each element of Governor Brown’s pension reform package, as introduced on October 27, 2011. Email the signed form to or fax to 916.325.1273

Urge Legislators to Sign Statement of Principles

CalChamber is also urging legislators to support the pension reform principles. Send a letter to your legislators and ask them to sign the Governor’s pension reform proposal.

Additional Material

CalChamber Coalition for Pension Reform news release

Statement of Principles

News Release: Governor Brown Unveils Pension Reform Plan

The Governor's Plan can be found here.

Recent News Articles

California Legislature Sets Ambitious Agenda in Last Week of Session
Lawmakers will consider changes in pension, workers' compensation and tax policy, likely setting the stage for the governor's campaign to raise taxes to close the deficit.(Los Angeles Times 08/27/12)

California Near Landmark Pension Reform
Of the hundreds of bills still awaiting action as the Legislature begins its final week, none will command more attention than pension reform legislation -- now expected to emerge from the Capitol after months of uncertainty.C(ontra Costa Times 08/27/12)

State Democrats: Pension Changes Coming
Ten months after Gov. Jerry Brown proposed sweeping changes to public employee pensions, Democratic legislative leaders say they are finally poised to take action on the issue this week.S(an Francisco Chronicle 08/26/12)

Pension Reform Among Issues Still Facing Lawmaker
California lawmakers head into their final deadline rush this week with some of the most pressing legislative matters still to be resolved, or even publicly revealed.A(ssociated Press 08/26/12)

Statewide Pension Reform Efforts Stall as Legislature Begins Final Week
Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democrats in the Legislature have made it clear that their No. 1 priority this year is getting voters to approve a tax increase in November. But many analysts doubt that voters will approve the governor's tax plan, Proposition 30, unless he and the Legislature enact pension reform – and the clock is ticking. (The Orange County Register 08/24/12)

Another California Brainstorm
The sages of Sacramento have done such a splendid job of not adequately funding California's public pensions that now they want to do the same for non-government workers. Their latest brainstorm is to establish state-administered retirement plans for workers in the private economy. (The Wall Street Journal 08/22/12)

Calpers Defends Pension Benefits While Risking Losses
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the largest U.S. pension, is defending government workers against criticism of their benefits even while it risks losses as municipalities, faced with rising retirement costs, file for bankruptcy. (Bloomberg News 08/20/12)

Retirement Costs Will Take a Larger Share of L.A. Budget, Estimates Show
Pension and healthcare costs for police and firefighters are projected to rise from $506 million of the general fund budget this year to $789 million by 2016. (Los Angeles Times 08/18/12)

More California Cities at Risk of Bankruptcy, Says One of Nation's Top Credit Rating Agencies
More California Cities at Risk of Bankruptcy, Says One of Nation's Top Credit Rating Agencies
One of the nation's top credit rating agencies said Friday that it expects more municipal bankruptcies and defaults in California, the nation's largest issuer of municipal bonds. (Associated Press 08/17/12)

L.A. Business Leaders Press City to Address Pension Costs
Los Angeles business leaders Wednesday pressed elected officials to address ballooning city employee pension costs, pushing for salary freezes as well as a ballot measure that would let voters — instead of lawmakers — decide how much employees should collect in retirement. (Los Angeles Times 08/16/12)