Posts Tagged: CalSTRS

Opinion

Politicizing CalPERS, CalSTRS puts pensions at risk

The CalPERS' governing board during a meeting several years ago at the pension fund's headquarters. (Photo: CalPERS board)

OPINION: Like most public employees, I pursued a career in state service because I want to serve the people of this state and do my part to promote a safe, healthy, well educated, and just California.  I was also attracted to the financial security and benefits available to public employees.  Unfortunately, politicization of at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) threatens these goals and makes me question whether my pension will be there for me when I retire in a few decades.

News

CalSTRS’ finances reflect debt — and surplus

The photo gallery in the main entrance of CalSTRS' West Sacramento headquarters. (Photo: CalSTRS)

The main California State Teachers’ Retirement System pension fund is seriously underfunded, and school district pension costs are more than doubling, biting deep into classroom budgets. But the agency, called CalSTRS for short, has an inflation-protection fund with a growing $9.8 billion surplus and an eye-popping positive cash flow.

Opinion

Forget naysayers: Public pension funds doing fine

A photo illustration of putting money aside as the clock ticks. (Image: Cozine, via Shutterstock)

OPINION:   Another round of alarmist commentary is being spread by those who begrudge a secure retirement for those who teach in our classrooms or heroically labor on the front lines of wildfires.  Amidst their negativity Californians may have missed a bit of positive news last month. The state’s two largest pension funds reported end-of-year investment returns that again exceeded their assumed average annual rate of return.

News

California’s boldest pension reform, five years in

Photo illustration of a nest egg. (Photo: Hidesy, via Shutterstock)

If you don’t give city employees a pension, what happens? San Diegans voted five years ago this month to switch all new city hires, except police, from pensions to 401(k)-style individual investment plans, becoming one of the first big cities to take the plunge.

News

State pension systems: NY outperforms California

The CalPERS board of governors during a meeting at the pension system's headquarters. (Photo: CalPERS)

New York state pension systems are better funded than California state pension systems, currently take a smaller bite out of state and local government budgets, and still provide pension benefits well above the national average. How do they do it?

News

Public pension funds eye weak investment returns

CalPERS' governing board during a 2013 meeting. (Photo: CalPERS board)

Calpensions: The state’s two largest public pension systems never recovered from huge investment losses during the deep recession and stock market crash in 2008. CalPERS lost about $100 billion and CalSTRS about $68 billion. Now after a lengthy bull market, most experts are predicting a decade of weak investment returns, well below the annual average.

News

CalSTRS eyes hike in death benefit

Students in a classroom get instruction from a teacher. (Photo: Areipa.It, Shutterstock)

Because the system is underfunded, the CalSTRS board has made no inflation adjustment in the death benefit since 2002. The board was told that it could have increased the death benefit by about 34.7 percent during the period.

Opinion

Ballot measure would threaten educators’ pensions

A classroom teachers helps a young student with Latin. (Photo: Goodluz, via Shutterstock)

The retirement security of California’s retired, current, and future teachers and the stability of the state’s pension fund for educators would be put at risk if a ballot measure addressing those issues is approved by California voters next November, according to an internal analysis by CalSTRS that I requested as chairman of the Assembly’s Committee on Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security.

News

CalSTRS eyes linkage of Social Security, teachers’ pensions

Calpensions: The CalSTRS board voted this month to “watch” a new cost-neutral bill in Congress that would reduce what has been an unpleasant surprise for some teachers and a shock to others — joining CalSTRS can cut Social Security benefits. Two federal laws enacted to avoid Social Security overpayment and inequity are mainly aimed at government employees who receive a pension but no Social Security.

Opinion

Stock market soars — and so do public pension costs

The New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street, New York. (Photo: Wikipedia)

The way our government accounts for public employee pension promises is nothing short of fraud, yet no public official has gone to jail or paid a price for what surely ranks among the largest muggings of citizens in US history. Let me explain. As the stock market reaches record levels, little is heard anymore from public officials who used to blame market declines for rising pension costs.

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