Articles for category National Economy
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) today released its annual CalPERS for California Report, detailing the broad ancillary benefits the System’s investments generated in California for the 2013-14 Fiscal Year. Additionally, CalPERS released an updated version of the California Initiative Report, highlighting a program that encourages investments in companies located in traditionally underserved California markets.
By PAUL KRUGMAN
New York Times
Over the past few days, The New York Times has published several terrifying reports about New Jersey’s system of halfway houses — privately run adjuncts to the regular system of prisons. The series is a model of investigative reporting, which everyone should read. But it should also be seen in context. The horrors described are part of a broader pattern in which essential functions of government are being both privatized and degraded.
First of all, about those halfway houses: In 2010, Chris Christie, the state’s governor — who has close personal ties to Community Education Centers, the largest operator of these facilities, and who once worked as a lobbyist for the firm — described the company’s operations as “representing the very best of the human spirit.” But The Times’s reports instead portray something closer to hell on earth — an understaffed, poorly run system, with a demoralized work force, from which the most dangerous individuals often escape to wreak havoc, while relatively mild offenders face terror and abuse at the hands of other inmates.
June 20, 2012
(Reuters) - The message from voters about public pension plans is clear: They're ready to cut the retirement benefits of police, firefighters, teachers and other state and municipal workers.
The latest indicators include the failed recall of Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin - which started with his efforts to cut pensions - and referendums in San Jose and San Diego, where voters overwhelmingly backed pension reform measures.
A recent study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that 35 states have reduced pension benefits since the 2008 financial crisis, mostly for future employees. Eighteen states have reduced or eliminated cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) - and some states have even applied these changes retroactively to current retirees.
This week, the Pew Center on the States reported that states are continuing to lose ground in their efforts to cover long-term retiree obligations. In fiscal year 2010, the gap between states' assets and their obligations for retirement benefits was $1.38 trillion, up nearly 9 percent from fiscal 2009. Of that figure, $757 billion was for pensions, and $627 billion was for retiree health care.
Wall Street Journal, May 19, 2011
The nation's biggest pension fund is on target to notch one of its strongest annual returns in the past 20 years, performance that is helping the fund regain its health and its confidence.
But state residents still are being stung by the California Public Employees' Retirement System's funding gap, showing the deep hole into which many pension funds have dug themselves.