Audit: Legal pension spiking by California state workers will cost $800 million over 2 decades

Government And Institutions Associated Press

California's chief financial officer says thousands of public workers have sweetened their retirement checks with legal pension spiking that will cost the state nearly $800 million over two decades.

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An audit Controller John Chiang released Tuesday comes as California faces tens of billions of dollars in future pension payments the state doesn't have the money to pay.

The report says dozens of agencies have engaged in legal pension spiking — a method of boosting a worker's pay to fatten future pension checks.

The California Public Employees' Retirement System says the practice had been authorized under state law. It has been outlawed for new workers.

Auditors found no evidence of illegal spiking, but the report says the pension system does little to detect it.