The State Worker

CalPERS sees slight rise in October retirements

More state and local government workers in CalPERS applied for retirement this October than a year ago, according to new data, while the number of first-time pensioners so far this year is virtually identical to the total during the same period last year.

State employee retirements for this month rose 3.5 percent to 682. Meanwhile, 1,287 local government, special district and non-teaching school employees put in their pension papers, up 3.3 percent from the previous October. As the interactive graph above shows, 8,717 state workers have taken their pensions this year, down 1.3 percent from a year ago.

A total 25,705 CalPERS members have retired this year. That’s just seven fewer than headed for the exits between January and October of 2012 – a tiny 0.03 percent year-over-year difference.

The figures represent the number of CalPERS members who have applied to take their pensions from mid-month to mid-month, so the new data includes applications submitted in the last half of September and the first half of October.

Demographers have warned for years – the first baby boomers hit age 55 in 2000 – that a wave of employees reaching retirement age would trigger a growing wave of retirements. Furloughs, pension insecurity, local government buyouts and a series of state- and local-budget crises have also prodded a spike in retirements, experts say.

With the fiscal pressure relatively better for many government agencies, although still far less cheery than a decade ago, the pace of government employees entering retirement has slowed for now.