The simple answer to that question is: one hell of a lot.
A slightly more informative answer would be: more than double the amount available to a retiring high-wage earner through social security, and over $15,000 more than the average, currently working private sector employee in California.
A really, really specific, detailed, and nuanced answer can be found here:
From the article:
“…the average public employee retiree with 30 years of service collects a pension (not including benefits) that is 26% greater than the average pay and benefits for a non-retired full time private sector worker, and more than twice the maximum Social Security benefit.”
What are those numbers, exactly? Your average “full career” public employee in California has a pension that brings in $68,673 annually, while an average full-time worker in California’s private sector brings in $54,326 in pay and benefits, while the maximum social security benefit to a high-wage earner retiring at 66 is $32,244.
What’s wrong with this picture? Where to begin…
Well, we suggest you begin by reading the article linked above. It is by far the most comprehensive study into the inequalities presented by the public benefits system. The study is long, and detailed, but we cannot stress enough how well it paints the picture of the bullsh*t that Public Sector Unions have pulled over on the rest of California.
Here are some of the juicy, non-numbers stuff from the article for those of you who are disinclined to do all of your assigned reading:
“For example, CalPERS on their “Myths vs. Facts” page states “The average CalPERS pension is about $31,500 per year.” This is a profoundly misleading statement…But that average [of $31,500] was for all retirees regardless of if they retired before benefits were enhanced, and regardless of how many years they worked…it can be seen that a more accurate average, based on 30 years work and retirement after 2000, is more than twice what CalPERS claims, $71,402. It should go without saying that if someone does not work a “full career,” they should not expect the amount of their pension to be based on a full career of service.
Several additional points should be made. We assume that 30 years is a “full-career,” but why? After all, a typical American worker who enrolls in Social Security can expect to work well over 40 years, from, say, age 26 through age 65, before they are eligible for the full Social Security benefit. And to put these pensions in perspective, the maximum Social Security benefit for someone retiring on their 66th birthday is $32,244. As shown on Table 1-B, across all 23 pension systems that we analyzed, the average pension for a retiree with 30 years of service is $68,673, more than twice as much.”
And finally, our favorite:
“Much of the discussion surrounding pensions has focused on their financial sustainability. While this is a question of vital importance, too often overlooked is the moral question of whether pensions are simply too generous when compared to government retirement programs for private sector workers, regardless of their affordability. There is a compelling case to be made that if the government is going to offer citizens programs like Social Security, or pensions for government workers, then perhaps all citizens should have the opportunity to select from the same set of benefit formulas and incentives.”