OAKLAND -- About 240 workers retired from their East Bay government jobs before a new pension-spiking ban took effect Saturday, according to a near-final tally.
Alameda County government agencies lost 119 employees who retired before the close of business Friday, and Contra Costa County lost 121 workers, according to each county's pension board.
Although the counties did not track motivations for the mass retirement, most workers were thought to be fleeing new rules imposed by Assembly Bill 197, a 2012 state law that ends the practice of inflating pensions with unused vacation and other leave time.
A judge in May ordered the county-level pension boards to follow the new state law and end the practices that spiked pension income by as much as 15 percent in Contra Costa County and a smaller amount in Alameda County. Unions have appealed but an appeals court denied an attempt to further delay the new rules.
Among the workers who left are Contra Costa firefighters, Alameda County sheriff's deputies, planners, accountants, courtroom staff and 19 employees of the Alameda Health System public hospital network.