State worker retirements climb in first quarter
California state employee retirements rose nearly 8 percent for the first quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2012, according to the latest data from CalPERS.
The 3,576 retirement applications were just below the number made during the record-setting period of January to March in 2011.
The increase indicates that California's aging state employees are retiring in greater numbers, a trend that will continue for the foreseeable future, said Elizabeth Kellar, president of the Center for State and Local Government.
"This isn't unexpected," Kellar said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
Furloughs and labor unrest in 2010 and 2011 likely pushed many state workers to leave a little sooner, Kellar said, which is why the retirement numbers spiked to record highs for those two years before they fell in 2012.
"But now we're entering a more normal environment in terms of the way people make decisions," Kellar said, so California's retirement rate has returned to the gradual increase, which demographers predicted years ago, as baby boomers take their pensions.
CalPERS counts applications from mid-month to mid-month, so the first-quarter data includes the second half of December.
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