Wednesday, May 12, 2010

More on California Pensions

I mentioned last week that over 9,000 retirees in California are receiving pensions in excess of $100,000 annually from public entities. One of the reasons cited for high pensions is that high risks taken by public safety workers lead to shorter life spans (so, the high pension is a compensating wage differential offered in exchange for a shorter life). Sounds reasonable, yes?

Unfortunately, the data indicate that retired public safety workers have similar life spans to non-safety-workers. Oops.


  1. With firms, wage differentially using have some offsetting reason. Is there something we could do to make state employee pay more like firm's pay in that? What sort of structures would make government pay less absurd and more responsive to the market?

  2. I need to read my posts more carefully. Change differentially to differentials.

  3. Less union power?

  4. Are you including people who double-dip, getting, say, $50,000 from one pension and $50,000 from another? Then, to be on equal footing, don't you have to add in social security and health insurance paid by government agencies?

    I'm just saying that 9000 people getting $100,000 annually is probably just the start.