Thursday, April 26, 2007 | In Café San Diego, Scott Peters rightly points our pension system nightmare is over. Well it may not be over yet, but let’s look at it in another light.

There is no debate about the impact secure retirement benefits for the families, of California’s first responders.

These are benefits too! California’s economy thrives to the tune of $21 billion a year.

That’s the striking conclusion of a comprehensive new report. The study, conducted by the non-partisan Applied Research Center at Cal State University Sacramento, found that the $13.7 billion in annual payments from two major public pension funds alone.

The total economic effect creates 139,000 jobs with an annual payroll of $4.8 billion.

This impact is particularly good for local economies and local government. According to the study, every $1 invested by employers in pension funds produces $8.55 in benefits to the economy. More than half of that $1 investment (56 cents) actually comes directly back to government in state and local tax revenue.

In short, retirement security is good for California, as well as for its retirees.

This is a powerful statement to those who would blame our leaders for our pension ills.

Because the study only covers two major pension systems, it actually understates the economic impact of retiree pensions, since local county pension funds are not included in the calculation. It also does not account for more than $15 billion in massive pension funds directly invested in the California economy.

So for those of you yelling to the heavens the sky is falling, think again! Our pensions have many positive aspects too!

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