Posts Tagged: pensions

News

State Supreme Court to consider public pension cuts

The California Supreme Court, left to right, standing: Mariano-Florentino Cuellar, Carol Corrigan, Goodwin Liu, and Leondra Kruger. Seated: Kathryn Werdegar, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, and Ming Chin.

Calpensions: The state Supreme Court last week agreed to hear an appeal of a groundbreaking ruling that allows cuts in the pensions earned by current state and local government workers, including judges. When judges have an obvious conflict of interest and excuse themselves from ruling on a case, the legal term is “recuse.” But the seven Supreme Court justices seem unlikely to recuse themselves from a possible landmark ruling on this Marin County pension case.

News

CA pensions’ tax bite exceeds national average

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

California pension funds take a bigger share of tax revenue than the national state average, a research website shows. Why the growing costs are outpacing the norm is not completely clear. A prime suspect for some would be overly generous pensions, particularly what critics say is an “unsustainable” increase for police and firefighters widely adopted to match a big increase given the Highway Patrol by SB 400 in 1999.

News

San Bernardino eyes cuts of police retirees’ pensions

San Bernardino police officers, members of the SWAT team. (Photo: Juno Kughler Carlson, omnitrans.org) omnitrans.org

San Bernardino’s plan to exit bankruptcy, possibly next year, cuts the pensions of 23 retired police officers who receive an unusual supplement to their regular CalPERS pension. The supplement boosts pensions to the same amount now common among police and firefighters, a standard set by the Highway Patrol in a CalPERS-sponsored bill, SB 400 in 1999.

News

California gets C-minus for integrity

One night in March 2014, state Senator Leland Yee stood before a fancy dinner thrown in San Francisco by the Society of Professional Journalists to receive the Public Official Award — for a second time. Yee, then a candidate for secretary of state, was saluted for “his courage to oppose his own Democratic Party leaders and the governor in 2013 with public criticism of efforts to weaken the California Public Records Act.” A week later, a handcuffed Yee appeared in federal court, accused of taking bribes, political racketeering and even running guns in the Philippines.

News

Private firms eye state-run pension savings plans

A retiree checks out the newspaper in his back yard. (Photo: Budimir Jevtic, Shutterstock)

Calpensions: A board working on a proposal to enroll most small business employees in a state-run retirement savings plan, unless they opt out, was told last week that small technology-focused financial firms could do the job. The founders of three firms that offer 401(k)s and other retirement plans to small businesses did not object to competition from the state.

News

Pension initiative tracks Utah law

Protesters picketed the recent appearance of pension-change advocates Chuck Reed and Carl DeMaio at the Reason summit. (Photo: Ed Mendel, Calpensions)

Calpensions: One of the two initiatives filed by a pension reform group last week would cap state and local government spending on retirement benefits for most new hires at 11 percent of pay, much like a Utah pension reform five years ago.

News

Pension initiative draws unions’ fire

School workers at a labor rally in Bakersfield. (Photo: Richard Thornton, Shutterstock)

A union coalition contends that a proposed initiative is being falsely portrayed as only a potential cut in pensions for new employees, when in fact it could cut or eliminate pensions earned by current employees for work done in the future. One of the initiative authors, former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, disagrees with the union reading of the proposal. But it’s a key pension reform issue that could lead to another disputed initiative title and summary.

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.

News

Initiative targets CalPERS’ ‘poison pill’

A pension reform initiative filed last week requires voter approval of termination fees, the big upfront payment demanded by CalPERS when a plan is closed to new members. CalPERS says it needs the money to ensure payment of the pensions promised members who remain in the closed plan. The termination fee is calculated by dropping the pension fund earnings forecast from the current 7.5 percent to as low as 2.98 percent.

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