California Treasurer Bill Lockyer resigned from the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research pension advisory panel in protest over a study it released.
The study by Stanford professor and former Democratic Assemblyman Joe Nation called for reducing pension benefits for current employees and changing the boards that oversee the state’s pension systems.
The study said worsening pension liabilities in California will continue to hurt future state budgets unless major changes are made.
The treasurer said he had problems with the conclusions and methodology of the study, which he said did not adequately consider the legal hurdles to reducing pension benefits for current employees.
Lockyer in a statement said the study did not adequately consider the legal impediments to reducing benefits for current employees.
He also said it ignored research indicating that retirement systems perform better when their boards include members of the retirement plan.
Nation’s study said more serious changes are needed than those proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
In October, Brown unveiled a pension reform plan that would affect both current and new state and local government workers in an effort to control rising costs.
The 12-point plan includes equal pension contributions for all employees and employers.
Outside of public safety, it raises the retirement age to 67 for new hires and creates a “hybrid” defined benefit plan for new employees.
Last year, Nation released another controversial study of California pension systems that said pension liabilities should be calculated at a risk-free rate, rather than with rosier investment return rates. —