The plan is mostly fluff, such as eliminating "spiking," the buying of "airtime" to boost pensions, and pensions for felons, and placing a theoretical cap on salaries qualifying for defined-benefit pensions that will affect only a tiny number of those on the public payroll.
The new plan's promoters say it will reduce future pension obligations by tens of billions of dollars, but the basis for that assertion is squirrelly, and even if accurate, does little to reduce unfunded liabilities that are at least $250 billion and could be twice as high.
I'll give Brown and his allies this: all of the elements of pension reform that Walters describes as "fluff" are actually worthwhile. But they're also the low-hanging fruit of the pension debate, and the factors least significant in bringing about serious structural change.... Neither Brown nor the Democratic legislative leaders were truly interested in overhauling an unsustainable system and preventing its massive debt from falling on future generations. Their goal was to enact something that they could call reform to help pass Brown's tax increase measure, Proposition 30.