Statement on California Supreme Court Decision, CalFire v. CalPERS, from the Retirement Security Initiative

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The Retirement Security Initiative’s Founder, former San Jose mayor, Chuck Reed, and Chief Executive Officer, Pete Constant, have issued the following statements after today’s ruling from the California Supreme Court on the CAL FIRE LOCAL 2881 et al. v. CALIFORNIA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES’ RETIREMENT SYSTEM (CalFire vs. CalPERS).

RSI’s Founder, Chuck Reed, said, “This is a solid win for pension reform. The court has rejected the broadest interpretation of the California rule and upheld one of Governor Brown’s modest changes to retirement benefits for public workers. This ruling offers hope that California can take reasonable steps to ensure that our pension systems can always pay all the benefits our employees have earned without driving cities, counties, and school districts into insolvency.”

RSI’s Chief Executive Officer, Pete Constant, said, “Taxpayers are the real winners today. The court’s ruling, while narrow, moves pensions in California towards a more reasonable and sustainable benefit for the state’s public workers, rejecting the unaffordable and risky benefit perks that have not been earned through public service. With a number of other pension cases pending before the courts, we hope to see a continued path of strengthening California’s pension systems so that they can provide long term retirement security for all public employees.”

The Retirement Security Initiative is an advocacy organization focused on protecting and ensuring the fairness and sustainability of public sector retirement plans. RSI marshals and organizes a broad range of resources to help policymakers learn about pension issues and explore policy options. We work at the federal, state, county, and municipal levels to inform and educate the public and policy leaders; support policy development; and build strategies and organize support for fair and sustainable retirement plans.