Articles for category Retirement
San Jose Mercury News
March 14, 2014
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed's statewide pension reform initiative was dealt a major setback Thursday when a judge rejected a lawsuit that could have made it much easier for Reed get his measure on the ballot.
Attorney General Kamala Harris, whose office must write an unbiased overview for all initiatives aimed for the California ballot, in January issued what Reed considered an inaccurate summary for his proposed statewide pension measure. Last month, Reed sued to overturn the summary while he put signature-gathering to qualify the initiative for the ballot on hold.
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS -- Mayor Chuck Reed on Friday abandoned what was supposed to be his crowing achievement, saying he had admitted defeat in his bid to get a statewide pension reform measure on the November ballot.
The decision was expected after Reed struggled to attract the well-funded allies he needed to raise the millions of dollars to gather the roughly 800,000 signatures required for the initiative to reach the ballot. Meanwhile, organized union groups mounted a campaign to defeat it, and dozens of other California mayors lined up against it.
The San Jose mayor will be termed out of office at the end of this year and had spent months traveling the state and Washington D.C. in hopes of gathering support for his initiative, which was similar to a city pension measure he championed in 2012.
San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has revised the public employee pension ballot measure, tweaking its language to fend off opponents’ criticisms that the proposed constitutional amendment circumvents collective bargaining and guarantees proponents a payday in state-subsidized legal fees to defend the measure if the state attorney general declined to fight lawsuits that would certainly follow the its approval.
“In the last two or three weeks we’ve talked to a lot of people,” Reed said this morning in a telephone interview, including the legislative analyst staff and the attorney general’s office. “Some parts of our measure weren’t clear. So we’re trying to make it clear what our intentions are.”
Union opponents seized on the revision -- and a switch in the lineup of the measure’s proponents -- as a sign that the proposal is in trouble. Among other things, Reed’s proposal would change California’s constitution to allow public employee pensions to be lowered prospectively for current workers. A body of case law appears to make that illegal without another form of compensation to offset that loss.
For more than half a century, Yolanda Solari dedicated much of her life to fighting for the rights of state workers, state retirees and California citizens in general.
She passed away Oct. 30 at the age of 90.
She held several elected offices within CSEA, which currently has about 140,000 members in four affiliates, including California State Retirees.
She was first elected president of CSEA in 1990 – the third woman to hold the position, and the first to serve three two-year terms.
It has come to our attention that approximately 25,000 CalPERS members do not have a mailing address on file at CalPERS, and therefore did not receive a ballot for the CalPERS 2013 Board Member-At-Large-Election.
The public is invited to learn more about the candidates running for Seat A and Seat B on the CalPERS Board of Administration by attending a candidate forum from 3 to 5 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 5, in the Robert C. Carlson Auditorium at CalPERS Headquarters in Sacramento.
Ballots were mailed Aug. 30 to the home addresses of CalPERS members eligible to vote in the election for the two open member-at-large positions. The voting period runs through Sept. 27 – the deadline for returning ballots to CalPERS.
California State Retirees (CSR) – the largest state retiree organization in California – announced today that it is seeking legislation to limit the amount of pension information currently available through CalPERS under the Public Records Act.
“We understand that some public information must be released by law, but we do not support a pension data system like what CalPERS had proposed because it would have revealed much more than just how much a retiree’s pension is,” said California State Retirees President Tim Behrens. “Most of the 33,000 members in our organization are elderly and many are vulnerable. Releasing even just their name can make them targets for identity theft and harassing marketers and scammers.”
Retirees who receive $4,000 or more in their monthly retirement warrants will see a $2 hike in their CSR dues payment beginning Jan. 1, 2013.
Dues will stay the same for CSR members who make less than $4,000 a month. It has been more than a decade since CSR raised dues for any of its members.
The California State Retirees Board of Directors is endorsing the following candidates in the Nov. 6 General Election.
Recommendations were made to the board by the CSR Political Action Committee (PAC), which considers each candidate’s voting record on issues such as protecting pensions and health benefits for state retirees.
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) Board of Administration Oct. 17 approved an 85 percent premium increase for early purchasers of its Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance Program policies. The increase, to be spread over two years, is being implemented to help stabilize the program’s underlying Long-Term Care Fund and will take effect July 2015.
Members who opt to cover the increase in a single year will pay only 79 percent. Policyholders affected by the increase purchased two types of policies between 1995 and 2004: policies with lifetime benefits with inflation protection, and policies with lifetime benefits without inflation protection (California Partnership policies will be excluded).