The State Worker: California state worker retirements up 4 percent in 2013

jortiz@sacbee.comJuly 11, 2013 

The number of California state employee retirements rose 4 percent during the first half of this year when compared with the same period in 2012, according to the latest data from CalPERS.

Meanwhile, retirements by all state, local and school district employees in the pension system rose a little over 8 percent.

Experts say that the growth in the retirement rate will continue for the foreseeable future as baby boomers take their pensions. Furloughs, budget woes, pension politics and labor unrest in 2010 and 2011 prodded many state workers to leave a little sooner than they might have in normal times, which explains why the retirement numbers spiked to record highs for those two years.

But with the economy on the mend, with budget pressures easing, with the pension issue on the sidelines, with the pay picture brightening, the government retirement rate has returned to the gradual, steady upward trajectory that demographers predicted many years ago.

The data used for the interactive chart above and for the tables below come from CalPERS monthly tally of service retirement applications from mid-month to mid-month. The six-month data includes the second half of December. Owing to the method CalPERS uses to calculate pensioners' first cost-of-living increase, more employees retire at the end of the calendar year than at any other time. Those retirements are counted in the January numbers.

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