California governor to crack down on pension spiking

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California Governor Jerry Brown recently introduced a comprehensive overhaul of the state's pension system in a bid to drastically reduce costs and address time and attendance manipulations.

According to Brown's administration, fully implementing the changes would halve public funding.

"It's time to fix our pension systems so that they are fair and sustainable over a long time horizon," Brown said in a speech that proposed 12 major reforms for both state and local systems.

Currently, some employees engage in pension spiking - the process of boosting their pension payouts by manipulating overtime and cashing out unpaid vacation time. A component of the plan proposed by Brown would introduce a new method of calculation.

"The retirement formula (would) be based on the last three years of service and exclude … the use of unpaid vacation and other perks in the formula," the San Francisco Chronicle explains.

The practice of pension spiking was highlighted by the revelation that former Upland city manager Robb Quincey made $460,000 last year - $190,000 more than the chief operating officer of San Diego, despite the fact that San Diego is approximately 17 times larger than Upland. 

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