The State Worker

The State Worker with Jon Ortiz
Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers
By Jon Ortiz
jortiz@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 – 12:00 am

A conservative Southern California group has launched a public pension database that includes retirees’ names, their annual pension payments, years of service, last employer and year of retirement.

The state’s largest pension fund, CalPERS, is on the verge of abandoning a similar project. But the Tustin-based California Public Policy Center has activated its own database and says it will continuously update TransparentCalifornia.com whenever it receives new data.

So far the site allows users to search for detailed 2012 pension information from 37 California public pension funds including CalPERS and CalSTRS, plus individual salary data for state and local government agencies. The group is seeking pension information from 38 other systems. The courts several years ago ruled that such information is public record.

Center President Mark Bucher said he hopes the data will “empower anyone interested in this issue … We’re trying to put the power in the hands of the people, in the hands of candidates running for office.”

Harvey Robinson, president of the 28,000-member Retired Public Employees Association of California, said that pensioners will be “outraged” as word about the database spreads. “We certainly are concerned about that information creating vulnerability for retirees,” he said.

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