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Brown urges pension fund to address rising costs

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Gov. Jerry Brown says longer life expectancies for government retirees will blow an even larger hole in California's unfunded pension liabilities and is criticizing inaction by the state's retirement system.

The Democratic governor sent a letter Wednesday to the board of the California Public Employees' Retirement System. In it, he urged board members to acknowledge the demographic changes immediately and phase in the costs over three years rather than waiting two years to take action, as CalPERS' staff recommends.

Brown's letter did not suggest how the phase-in should be done but says two years of inaction will cost $3.7 billion over the next 20 years. The pension fund is $45 billion in the red.

A CalPERS spokeswoman says life expectancy is one of many factors used in setting contribution rates.

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