CalPERS Retirement Payments in 2010 Boost California's Economy by $26 Billion

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CalPERS July 11, 2011

CalPERS benefit payments rippled through the California economy last year, generating $26 billion in economic activity and supporting more than 93,600 jobs across the state, Anne Stausboll, Chief Executive Officer of the California Public Employees' Retirement System, told a Washington, D.C., conference today.
Appearing at the Women in Finance Investment Symposium, sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Stausboll said that every dollar paid to a CalPERS beneficiary residing in California stimulated $2.26 in economic activity throughout the state. The $26 billion in economic activity added nearly a half percent to California's $1.875 trillion economy, the eighth largest in the world.

The data comes from "The Economic Impacts of CalPERS Pension Payments in 2010," a new study released today that details the effect that CalPERS retirement payments have on California and its 58 counties. The study was conducted by Dr. Robert Fountain, the director of Regional Economics Consultants, professor emeritus at California State University, Sacramento, and founder of the CSUS Applied Research Institute and the Sacramento Regional Research Institute.

"The evidence from this study is clear: CalPERS retirement checks are a powerful engine helping to drive California's economy," Stausboll said. "The research shows that every dollar in retirement funds we send out sparks new business activity and generates jobs for our state's workers and tax receipts for our state's cities and counties. As we continue to discuss public pensions, let's remember that Californians' retirement checks are a financial necessity and a vital source of economic strength for many people and communities around the state."
Among other key findings of "The Economic Impacts of CalPERS Pension Payments in 2010":
CalPERS sent $11.566 billion in retirement checks to 431,373 California residents last year.

The payments spurred an additional $14.615 billion in induced business revenue, generating a total of $26.18 billion in economic activity in the state.
The economic activity supported 93,651 statewide jobs with a total compensation of $4.795 billion.
The number of state jobs supported by retirement payments is greater than the number of jobs supported by the air transportation, broadcasting and utilities industries.

State retirees receiving CalPERS payments generated $1 billion in state and local taxes, including almost $620 million in property and sales taxes.
Each dollar contributed by state and local governments to the CalPERS Fund is invested, grows over time and when paid to beneficiaries in 2010 generated $10.79 of activity in the California economy.

"The Economic Impacts of CalPERS Pension Payments in 2010" also contains detailed examinations of the impact CalPERS retirement payments have on each of the state's 58 counties and on nine regional economies.
In 39 counties, CalPERS retirement payments stimulated an increase of more than one percent annually in the gross county product.
In 17 counties, CalPERS payments supported more than one percent of the total jobs.

CalPERS $1.5 billion in payments to 62,533 beneficiaries in Los Angeles County generated more than $3 billion in total economic activity in 2010.
The $1.3 billion sent to 43,119 retirees in Sacramento County generated almost $2.5 billion in total economic activity last year.
The full study with individual examinations of each county and the nine regional economies can be found at the Press Room at

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