Retired Gov. Jerry Brown with his dog, Colusa, at his ranch home near Williams. Photo by Randall Benton for CALmatters.

Former Gov. Jerry Brown, who pushed to rein in public employee pension costs, has started drawing on his $120,000-a-year pension after decades of public service.

Brown officially retired Jan. 7 to his ranch in Colusa County and began drawing $9,994.29 a month after 33.5 years of service, according to Amy Morgan, a spokeswoman for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.

It wasn’t immediately clear which of his past positions were credited. Brown, the son of former Gov. Pat Brown, began his political career on the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees. Over a five-decade span, he served as secretary of state, mayor of Oakland, attorney general and a record four terms as governor.

Brown retired at age 80, which is 22 years older than the average retirement age of state workers. Among his legacies is a rebalancing of state pensions for hundreds of thousands of public employees, a fight he took all the way to the California Supreme Court.

Payments for public employee retirement benefits are putting pressure on government budgets throughout cities, counties and school districts in the state, so much so that Brown once called pension reform a “moral obligation.”

CALmatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics.

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