Articles for category Retirement
A bankruptcy judge today approved the city of Stockton’s plan for repaying creditors, a plan to keeps pensions intact despite the objections of a disgruntled investment firm. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein approved the city’s plan during a two hour hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Sacramento, rejecting the complaints from San Mateo-based Franklin Templeton Investment over how it is being treated. Franklin, which is getting repaid about 12 cents on the dollar over some bond debts, had argued its treatment was unfair in light of the city’s refusal to reduce pension contributions to CalPERS. [Read More...]
“Today’s ruling in federal bankruptcy court is a victory for public employees and working people in general because it strengthens the sanctity of pensions that people have earned over long careers in public service.
Anne Stausboll, Chief Executive Officer of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) issued this statement in response to a federal bankruptcy judge’s ruling that confirms the City of Stockton’s plan of adjustment to exit bankruptcy:
“We are pleased that the City of Stockton will emerge from bankruptcy and can now chart a path forward under a plan of adjustment that protects the pension promises made to its public employees ... "
Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday appointed Richard Gillihan to head the California Department of Human Resources, where he has served in an acting role since February. In his new position, Gillihan will also serve on the CalPERS Board of Administration.
Gillihan, 46, took over after Julie Chapman suddenly stepped down amid criticism that the department lacked leadership. His appointment broke a chain of CalHR chiefs who were labor insiders or bureaucrats who had come up through the department in favor of a technology expert and fiscal manager from the Department of Finance.
The investment house Franklin Templeton's effort to knock down the city of Stockton's proposal to emerge from bankruptcy portrays the case as one in which Franklin is defending itself against three big, faceless adversaries.
These are CalPERS, California's enormous public pension agency, and "the City and its organized labor allies." Franklin objects that they're angling to preserve their preferential position in the bankruptcy reorganization, while cramming down big losses on Franklin, which holds more than $36 million in city debt, of which some $32 million is unsecured. The city proposes to pay Franklin about 1 cent on the dollar for that unsecured portion.
California’s eight-month streak of declining state-pension applications ended with a 24 percent jump in July, according to CalPERS data. August followed with a hefty 64 percent surge, the largest single-month percentage increase since July 2010. Retirement filings last month rose 23 percent compared with a year ago.
The ruling last week by a federal bankruptcy judge in Stockton’s bankruptcy case has caused many to speculate about the future of pensions. Public employees, retirees, employers, lawyers, taxpayers and journalists have legitimate questions and concerns (“Bankruptcy case should be a loud warning to cities,” Editorials, Oct. 3).
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.
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.