This report finds that public pensions play an outsized role in the retirement security of every major demographic group in California, with the strongest impact on women and people of color. It is also a powerful tool for reducing wealth inequality. As private pension coverage declines, public pensions remain a critical bulwark of middle-class retirement security alongside Social Security, particularly for marginalized communities who have been historically shut out of other wealth-building opportunities.
California Workers' Rights: A Manual of Job Rights, Protections and Remedies
A new report by the UC Berkeley Labor Center finds that defined benefit pensions—especially public pensions—are critical to providing adequate retirement income for California seniors, especially for women, Black, and Latino retirees, and those without a four-year college degree.
This study analyzes the impact of defined benefit pensions, especially public pensions, on retirement income security and wealth distribution by race, gender, and educational attainment in the U.S. It serves as a companion report to Closing the Gap fact sheets, which are designed to inform the public about the social equity impact of pensions in each state and the District of Columbia.
State workers struggle to make ends meet throughout California; Women, Black, and Latino workers are disproportionately affected
The California state government has close to a quarter of a million employees, almost half of whom are women and almost two-thirds of whom are workers of color. But across occupations and throughout the state, many state workers earn well below what is needed to attain a decent standard of living in California.
A report released today by the UC Berkeley Labor Center finds that many workers essential to keeping the state running and providing crucial services are struggling to make ends meet.
This brief analyzes the impact of public sector employment and defined-benefit pensions on race and gender equity in retirement income security in Marin County and California. Public pensions play an outsized role in the retirement security of every racial group, particularly in Black and Latino communities, and pension income provides a critical buffer against economic hardship in old age for all groups, especially women, Black and Latino Californians, and seniors without college degrees.
A new research brief, “How public pensions support race and gender equity,” finds that public pensions play an outsized role in the retirement security of every racial group– particularly in Black and Latino communities–in Marin County and the rest of the state.
This brief examines pension benefits for public servants in Sonoma County in terms of their role in employee compensation, the evolving financial status of pension systems, the impact of pension reform on costs, and how different pension systems in the county and surrounding Bay Area region stack up against each other in terms of protection from inflation during retirement.
This research brief finds that public employee pensions in Sonoma County help to balance the gap with private sector salaries and are financially sound, though they have a way to go in protecting many retirees from inflation.
This report explores how governments use technology, what drives technology adoption, and how technologies affect public sector workers and the delivery of public services. Using examples across local, state, and federal governments, the report finds that transparency and accountability have lagged behind rapid technology adoption in the wake of COVID-19, and that public sector workers play a critical role in ensuring that technology is used to strengthen the ability of governments to provide quality and equitable public services.
Drawing on dozens of examples of public sector technology use across local, state, and federal government agencies, this comprehensive report identifies how governments use technology, what drives technology adoption, and how these technologies impact public sector work and the nation’s twenty million public sector workers.
Marin Public Pension Series – Brief #2: Understanding the Financial Status, Cost, and Sustainability of Public Pensions in Marin County
This brief is intended to help policymakers and the public better understand the financial standing of Marin County’s public pension systems, the role of legacy liabilities vs. ongoing benefit accrual in employer pension costs, and the current trajectory of these costs.
RELEASE: Understanding the Financial Status, Cost, and Sustainability of Public Pensions in Marin County
Designed as a resource for policymakers and journalists, this brief explains how public pension costs are calculated and funded, and explains how reforms adopted by CalPERS, CalSTRS, and MCERA have put the systems on stronger footing in recent years. This is the second of three briefs in the Marin Public Pension Series.
In this post we evaluate the possible economic impacts of a proposed restructuring of Oakland’s Gross Receipts Tax, including an evaluation of job impact estimates made by the task force consultant—Blue Sky Consulting Group—and research on what factors affect business location and expansion. We also discuss the importance of strengthening the city’s revenue base to support Oakland’s continued recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of improving public services to support business growth and retention.
Marin Public Pension Series – Brief #1: How Defined Benefit Pensions Support a Quality Public Sector Workforce in Marin County
This brief examines the economic value of DB pensions—which provide secure monthly retirement income based on salary and years of service—for public employees, employers, and residents in Marin County.
A new research brief by the UC Berkeley Labor Center demonstrates how defined benefit (DB) pensions—which provide secure monthly retirement income based on salary and years of service—support a quality public sector workforce in Marin County.
California can’t afford to repeat the Great Recession: State spending is critical to economic recovery
California’s 2021-22 budget will have an enormous impact on the nature of California’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor’s 2021-22 budget proposal would restore some critical funding for public health and education, but it will not be sufficient to get California’s economy and low-income Californians back on track. To avoid a prolonged economic downturn, and further damage to California’s most vulnerable residents, California needs to make a much more significant investment in the drivers of economic growth.
This brief summarizes the Great Recession’s impact on public employment and the public sector job losses driven by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Our analysis points to the importance of focusing on the public sector as policymakers respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
In this post we examine the likely impacts of the pandemic on local budgets, the factors still unknown, and the principles that must guide California’s response to this ongoing crisis.
In this study, we determine whether most teachers working in classrooms today can expect to work long enough in the same state to accrue higher benefits under their existing traditional pension, which provides monthly income based on age and service, than they would under a 401(k)-type savings plan of equal cost.