The mystery of Jerry Brown’s pension

The Orange County Register Watchdog, certainly no friend of Democrats, has uncovered some, um, discrepancies about what Jerry Brown will receive as a pension. Brown has 16 years of service however it certainly appears that he has been credited with 25 to 29 years, raising his pension from $73,000 to $110,000 a year.

The Watchdog can only say for certain that Brown and a handful of other top officials are eligible for generous benefits under a special pension fund so obscure that few people in government know how it works and many thought it had been eliminated 20 years ago by outraged voters.

Under the law, Brown should have accrued, at most, 16 years of service credit in this special fund, known as the Legislators’ Retirement System, or LRS. Actuarial statements produced by LRS, however, indicate that an unnamed person of Brown’s age and earning Brown’s exact salary has been credited with 25 to 29 years of service. The difference would mean tens of thousands of dollars in additional pension payments for Brown each year.

Brown’s campaign staff acknowledge the unnamed person sure looks like the gubernatorial candidate but have been unable to explain the discrepancy over service.

Meg Whitman is going to roast Brown over this. Deservedly so, I’d say. The Brown campaign needs to get out in front of this fast, with genuine explanations. Continuing their silence will kill them.


  1. I guess I have questions. Has he started to collect that pension? Most people I know have no clue what they are supposed to get per check or year. Also, why should he be roasted? Shouldn’t they be roasting the department that is supposed to be keeping the records and doing the math? When laws were changed, were they retro’d or is there a cut date – before, calculated one way – after, another?

    • It looks there there was a special little pension fund for just a few that he got in on, a fund that voters thought they’d abolished years ago. I would say it’s a bunch of hooey except that his campaign has offered no rebuttal or explanation.

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