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Bloomberg on California public pensions run amok

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Using data from CalPERS for a dozen California cities crumbling under the weight of skyrocketing pension costs and declining revenue, Bloomberg News updates the state’s continuing financial horror story today. Its focus: how local governments “struggle to support six-figure lifetime benefits for some retirees even as they cut police and fire services.” The lede, applicable to a lot of places, fixes on newly-bankrupt Stockton:

Stockton, California, Police Chief Tom Morris was supposed to bring stability to law enforcement when he was appointed to the job four years ago.

He lasted eight months and left the now-bankrupt city at age 52 with an annual pension that pays more than $204,000 -- the third of four chiefs who stayed in the position for less than three years and retired with an average of 92 percent of their final salaries.

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