Jerry Brown gets $120,000 in retirement

Former Gov. Jerry Brown, who pushed to rein in public employee pension costs, has started drawing on his $120,000-a-year pension after decades of public service.

Brown officially retired Jan. 7 to his ranch in Colusa County and began drawing $9,994.29 a month after 33.5 years of service, according to Amy Morgan, a spokeswoman for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

Brown, the son of former Gov. Pat Brown, began his political career on the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees. Over a five-decade span, he served as secretary of state, mayor of Oakland, attorney general and a record four terms as governor, all of which counted toward his service credit at CalPERS.

Brown retired at age 80, which is 22 years older than the average retirement age of state workers. Among his legacies is a rebalancing of state pensions for hundreds of thousands of public employees, a fight he took all the way to the California Supreme Court.

Payments for public employee retirement benefits are putting pressure on government budgets throughout cities, counties and school districts in the state, so much so that Brown once called pension reform a “moral obligation.”

For comparison, Brown’s pension falls in the middle of recent governors. According to CalPERS, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger waived his salary so he isn’t collecting a pension. Gov. Gray Davis retired in 2003 with 30 years of service and collects $140,767 a year. Gov. Pete Wilson retired in 1999 with about 12 years of service and receives $77,051 a year.

Latest in Blogs

Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Kamala Harris before the start of the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami.


Frontrunner no more: California poll puts Harris on top and Biden (way) down

Animal rights advocate Deborah Classen holds a poster featuring rabbits to support a bill that would ban fur from wild animals., at a Capitol hearing July 9, 2019.


Fur flies as California moves closer to a statewide ban


Introducing a new look for CalMatters

Students are joining teachers in the rain today on the picket line at Marshall High School in Los Angeles, as an LAUSD teachers strike began. Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News


If L.A. won’t raise taxes for schools, will Californians vote to overhaul a Proposition 13?

Gov. Gavin Newsom surrounded by legislators at the 2019 State of the State address in the Capitol. Photo by Andrew Nixon, Capital Public Radio


Newsom’s biggest budget win? Lawmakers didn’t break his heart


A million independent voters risk being irrelevant in California’s presidential primary