PolitiCal
On politics in the Golden State
October 26, 2011 | 7:12 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown will unveil a 12-point plan to overhaul the state public retirement system Thursday, proposing a payout for new state workers that combines elements of traditional guaranteed government pensions with a 401(k)-style savings plan, according to people who were briefed on his plan.

Brown will also raise the age at which state workers become eligible for their full pensions. Details of the governor’s plan were provided by numerous labor leaders, who received an outline of the proposal from the governor late Wednesday. They spoke on condition of anonymity because Brown asked them not to reveal details to the media.

Brown is expected to formally unveil his plan Thursday in Sacramento. His spokesman, Gil Duran, refused to confirm any specific provisions, saying: “The current system is not sustainable. I think the governor made that clear back in March,” when he released an outline of his suggested pension changes.

While components of the governor’s proposal would require voter approval, Brown is expected to first present his plan to the Legislature, sources said. A legislative committee is studying the issue and devising recommendations on pension-related legislation for next year.

The governor’s plan could test the governor’s relationship with his labor allies. Steve Smith, a spokesman for the California Labor Federation, noted that public employee unions have already agreed to concessions in recent years, including forcing members to pay a greater share of their own pensions and reducing payouts for new workers.

Still, he concedes the public may be looking for more.

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