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Report: California Pensions Cost Each Resident $3,000

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(AP/FILE)

(AP/FILE)

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SACRAMENTO (CBS) — A new report says the burden on California families to support the state workers’ pension system could triple within a few years and drag the state down further into the financial hole.

Pension Costs Could Triple By 2014: CBS News’ Steve Large Reports

The Milken Institute, an independent think tank, said California’s pension obligations to retired state workers already cost each Californian $3,000 every year. By 2014, that cost could go up to $10,000 a year, the group’s report said.

“If we stopped everything today, we would be 500 billion dollars in the hole, of what we owe people that we’ve promised already,” said Marcia Fritz, a pension reform activist with CaliforniaPensionReform.com.

CalPERS, the state’s largest pension system, pays out pensions of $100,000 or more to more than 9,000 retirees. CalSTRS, the pension system for teachers, gives out retirement packages of more than $100,000 a year to more than 3,000 retirees.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has pushed for pension reform, but his aides say politicians in the Capitol have failed to make the big fixes.

“One, it’s not a sexy issue that people are paying attention to,” said governor’s spokesman Aaron McLear. “Two, so many of our politicians are in bed with the public employee unions, it’s tough to get done.”

No one from CalPERS would go on camera to comment on the report, but said, “We consider it to be a biased report based on artificial assumptions.”

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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