Articles for category General News
The Sacramento Bee reported Jan. 14 that Alfred Villalobos, accused of bribing former CalPERS Chief Executive Officer Fred Buenrostro to influence the fund’s business decisions, has died.
CalPERS said Nov. 3 it has received a $249.3 million payment from Bank of America, the result of a settlement over toxic mortgage securities purchased by the pension fund during the housing bubble. With the Bank of America settlement, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System said it has now recovered more than $500 million from its investments in bad mortgage securities.
Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for nearly 64 million Americans will increase 1.7 percent in 2015, the Social Security Administration announced today.
The 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that more than 58 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2015. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2014. The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The election results indicate CSUEU-endorsed candidate Taylor received 55 percent of the valid votes cast during the voting period, which took place from August 29 through September 29. Unofficial election results also indicate that Mathur received 56 percent of the valid votes cast. More than 40,000 active state and public agency CalPERS members voted in the election.
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'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.
Proponents of a pension-change initiative want a judge to edit key language used to describe their measure, contending that it was written to bias voters against it.
The lawsuit filed this week by San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and four other local government officials behind the proposal accuses Attorney General Kamala Harris of writing a title and summary that “uses false and misleading words and phrases which argue for the measure’s defeat, is argumentative, and creates prejudice against the measure, rather than merely informing voters of its chief purposes and points ...”
After California State Retirees (CSR) took the lead in calling for legislative hearings regarding pension privacy rights, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) announced Jan. 6 that it will rescind its plan to post on its website the names and pension amounts of 550,000 CalPERS retirees.
In July, CalPERS agreed to postpone the launching of its searchable pension data base when CSR and other retiree organizations argued that public information should only be released upon individual request under the Public Information Act. Posting the pension information of all CalPERS members on a data base would make it easier for solicitors and identity thieves to obtain information, the groups argued.
The Jan. 6 statement released by CalPERS Spokeswoman Rita Gallardo said: "After many discussions with our stakeholders and partners, we have come to better understand their concerns about posting this public information in a secure database on the CalPERS website. Next month CalPERS staff will report to the [CalPERS Board of Administration] that we no longer believe the intended benefits of posting the database on our website outweigh the risks and concerns to our members and that we should not move forward with our previous plans.
California State Retirees President Tim Behrens wrote letters this week to legislative leaders urging them to hold special legislative hearings to investigate the many critical issues raised by a now-stalled CalPERS proposal to post a searchable database that provides the name and benefits of all of its 550,000 retirees.
“CSR – the largest state retiree organization in California – is deeply concerned about the potential threats a database searchable by member name poses to our 33,000 members,” Behrens said in letters to Sen. Jim Beall, the chair of the Senate Public Employees and Retirement Committee and to Assemblyman Rob Bonta, chair of the Assembly Public Employees and Social Security Committee. “Many of our members are of an advanced age which makes them vulnerable to scams and rip-offs that seek to separate them from their hard-earned pensions and other assets. Releasing their names will make them susceptible to harassing marketers, fraudulent activity and identity theft.”
A similar letter from Behrens was sent CalPERS President Rob Feckner.
Behrens said that California State Retirees recognizes that CalPERS member information has been considered public information for some time and that there is indeed some value in providing public access to pension data.
“Nevertheless, we do not believe that it is appropriate to release the name and pension data of every recipient in a searchable database that could be used to target individual retirees,” Behrens said.
CSR Delegates determined, via a mail ballot, whether or not to change CSR Bylaws, Article IX, Section 5(A) reducing the delegate ratio from 1 delegate per 100 active chapter members to 1 delegate per 200 active members. The proposal further specified that no chapter shall have fewer than three delegates.