Now that Governor Brown has turned the Legislative pension reform plan into reality, public employees have turned a wary eye to their future realities. Increased pension contributions mean a lower take home income, and could mean a lifestyle adjustment.

In Orange County, a starting sheriff’s deputy earns $61,000. From that, sworn officers would have to contribute at least $7,000 annually to their pension plan. Ranking officers and other top-tier employees could pay double that. Fears are already being voiced about the long-term implications of the move, where experienced officers try to move to charter cities or the private sector, where the pension cost-sharing requirement doesn’t apply.

In Los Angeles County, officials are concerned about how the cap on pension payments might affect doctors who work at the nation’s second largest health healthcare system. Those physicians could avoid the pension cap by staying in the private sector or working with one of the reform-exempt agencies.

Even average earning employees, such as a secretary, who earns $3,500 a month will have to pay about $245 from her check towards her pension.

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