A proposal has been introduced in California that would exempt 20,000 local and regional mass-transit workers across the state from pension reform passed by lawmakers last year.

The bill, introduced by Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, and sponsored by unions, assumes new public pension changes violate terms of federal mass transit grants, according to the Sacramento Bee newspaper.

The Bee said the legislation would exclude union-sponsored pension plans regulated by federal standards, termed “multi-employer pension funds.”

Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed pension reform legislation that caps benefits for future hires, increases retirement ages, rolls back formulas used to calculate pensions, and requires employees to pay at least half of the normal cost of the pension.

Current employees would have to pay at least half of the costs, a provision to be negotiated through collective bargaining or be imposed after five years.

The reforms will also apply to all general-law local governments. They exclude the University of California System, charter cities, and counties with retirement systems outside of the state programs.

Some of the reforms have already come under pressure from unions.

For example, public employee unions said in November they would try to block the Contra Costa County retirement system board from implementing anti-spiking provisions that are part of new state pension reforms.

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