Senator Moorlach's Statement on Public Employee Unions and Pensions

Monday, April 18, 2016

Today Senator Moorlach released the following statement regarding Public Employee Unions and Pensions:

“I’ve always believed that in both the private and public sector, a reasonable retirement plan can and should be part of a total compensation package.

“As an Accountant trained as Certified Financial Planner and Certified Public Accountant, I strongly believe we want to give people more opportunity to save and prepare for retirement. I have affirmed this position numerous times over the last 21 years of my public service, both as a locally elected official in Orange County and now as a State Senator.

“The problem arises when larger than sustainable pension benefits are granted retroactively or prospectively, and there has not been funding set aside by either the employer or employee to cover the increased cost. It’s these unfunded liabilities that have swamped our state with debt.

“In Orange County, I’m in the pension system granted to all County employees.  When the Supervisors voted in 2004 to increase that pension, I strongly opposed that move, arguing that it would create substantial unfunded liabilities. I also worked for years to deal with both the challenges of reciprocity, as well as the lost talent of experienced individuals who are forced to retire even though they want to continue in public service. 

“Seeing recent reports of how out-of-line our unfunded liabilities are, I take no pleasure in being right about the concerns I started raising some 16 years ago.  We need to work together with our public employees and our lawmakers to gain control of pension costs and create a long term solution that fixes these unsustainable retirement problems.”

Press Contact: Amanda Smith @ 714-662-6050, amanda.smith@sen.ca.gov

State Senator John Moorlach is a nationally recognized budget, finance, and fiscal policy expert. Moorlach graduated from CA State University in Long Beach in 1977, passed the C.P.A. exam in 1978, and completed his studies for the Certified Financial Planner designation in 1987. He earned a Certificate in Public Finance from the University of Delaware, Division of Continuing Education in 1995, the Certificate of Achievement in Public Plan Policy (CAPPP) in Employee Pensions in 1999 and the Trustees Masters Program in 2003 through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, and the New Supervisors Training Institute in 2007 from CA State University in Sacramento in cooperation with their Center for California Studies.