Fewer state employees filed their pension papers last month compared to a year ago, according to the latest CalPERS service retirement data.
Retirements fell to 1,947, down 14 percent from January 2013 and the fewest for the month since the pre-furlough days of 2008. Experts have attributed the decline in retirements the last few years to the furloughs that prompted many employees to leave early and a brightening state budget picture that has improved working conditions and has made raises possible.
The retirement numbers, which actually count state pension applications from mid-December to mid-January, are significant because many CalPERS members retire at year’s end to take advantage of the fund’s cost-of-living increase rules. Historically, up to a quarter of state employee retirements occur in the January accounting period.