California drivers will pay more for auto registrations to shore up underfunded CHP pensions

By Romy Varghese, Bloomberg | Californians in April will start paying more to register their cars — not to help maintain roads, but to keep the pension checks rolling for the motorcycle cops who policed them.

CHPThe retirement fund for the California Highway Patrol is worse off than any other managed by California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the largest U.S. pension, as payments by the state and employees fail to keep up with benefits locked in during the dot-com bubble. As a result, the state’s contributions jumped 14 percent this year to $415 million and are projected to continue rising. A $10 increase to registration fees will help cover the expense.

“It’s a pension tax — call it what it is,” said state Senator John Moorlach, a Republican who introduced a bill that would implement measures to cut pension costs. “It’s like a tumor that’s growing inside the budget.”

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