University of California regents approved controversial rollbacks in pension and retiree health benefits Monday, including raising the earliest retirement age for future employees to 55, to help plug huge financial gaps in the university’s plans.
The changes now face tough bargaining with the unions that represent about half of UC’s 115,000 employees. Labor leaders said they are most upset about UC creating a two-tier workforce and contend that the changes would disproportionately affect blue-collar laborers who tend to retire earlier and with more health problems than faculty.
Under the proposals, employees hired after July 2013 would see the minimum age for early retirement rise from 50 to 55 and the age to receive maximum benefits increase from 60 to 65. In addition, all employees would pay higher premiums for post-retirement health plans.