Neil Nisperos, Staff Writer
Created: 02/22/2012 06:30:42 PM PST

State Sen. Republican leader Bob Huff, R-Walnut, and Assembly Republican leader Connie Conway, R-Tulare, on Wednesday introduced legislation that duplicates Gov. Jerry Brown’s pension reform plan.

Senate Constitutional Amendment 18 and Senate Bill 1176, if approved, would enact Brown’s 12-point pension reform plan. The language in the legislation is identical to that crafted by the Brown administration when it announced the plan last fall.

“While we have heard Democrats give lip service about supporting his plan, none of their members have committed to supporting it, or even carrying it,” said Huff in a statement. “That’s why today Republicans are introducing the Governor’s pension reforms as legislation. We have not changed one comma, one period or one word. This is his plan as he wrote it, and we will stand with him to see it passed.”

Analysts estimate the state’s unfunded liability for retirement systems covering state employees, public school teachers and university workers could be as high as $500 billion.

Among the governor’s proposals is a plan to introduce a mandatory “hybrid” system in which future retirees would get their retirement from a guaranteed benefit as well as a 401(k)-style plan subject to market whims. For employees with at least 30 years of service, these retirement benefits would aim to replace about 75 percent of an employee’s salary through retirement funds and Social Security.

Brown’s proposal also includes raising the retirement age to 67 for new employees who are not public-safety workers and requiring state and local employees to pay more toward their retirement and health care. The plan would also end pension “spiking,” which lets employees boost pay by including overtime and other benefits.

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