A reader writes:
As a California state employee, I have to qualify Conor's article. Only public safety employees (police, firefighters) get that retirement deal. If I retire at 50 (I started with the state at age 30), I would get 20% retirement. The deal for the overwhelming majority of California state workers is: 1% per service year if you retire at 50 2% per service year if you retire at 55 2.5% per service year if you retire 60 or later. While that is a good retirement plan, if I die young, my family gets much less than they would from a 401k with similar contributions.