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Articles for category Retirees

Medicare Part D mailing -- CalPERS members should do nothing

Posted Oct 04, 2012 by newspaper editor    0 Comment(s)  2 Likes Like Dislike

     CalPERS retirees should do nothing with the letter they received in September asking them whether they want to “opt out” of Medicare Part D, according to CalPERS officials.

     CalPERS is converting from the Medicare Part D Retiree Drug Subsidy Program (RDS) to a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) for Medicare-eligible members. Blue Shield and CVS Caremark are administering the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) for CalPERS effective Jan. 1, 2013, and they are responsible for sending the letters.

 These plans are Employer Group Waiver Plans (EGWP), governed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The centers require that health plans offer members a choice to opt out of the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan. This opt-out provision was not a requirement under the Medicare Part D Retiree Drug Subsidy Program. 

 

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CalPERS weighs huge premium hike for long-term care

Posted Oct 04, 2012 by newspaper editor    2 Comment(s)  -2 Likes Like Dislike

It's an old-age safety net offered to California public employees: insurance to cover the exorbitant cost of staying in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and the like.

Now most of the 150,000 or so Californians who buy long-term care insurance from CalPERS are facing what could be a big rate hike.

CalPERS is considering imposing a 75 percent increase in premiums on the vast majority of its long-term care policyholders. They would pay hundreds of dollars a year more – thousands, in some cases – as the California Public Employees' Retirement System tries to fix financial holes in the program.

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Steinberg: Lawmakers consider cap on pensions, not hybrid

Posted Aug 27, 2012 by newspaper editor    0 Comment(s)  0 Likes Like Dislike

Lawmakers charged with overhauling California's state and local public pension law are considering a plan to cap defined benefit pensions that would not include a second 401(k)-style component common in so-called "hybrid" retirement plans. "There will be a cap," Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, during a hallway press conference this afternoon with Capitol reporters.

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Media is wrongly hyping pensions as a cause of city bankruptcies

Posted Aug 08, 2012 by newspaper editor    1 Comment(s)  1 Likes Like Dislike

The Sacramento Bee
By Rob Feckner

If there is one thing I have learned in my time on the CalPERS board it's this – a little perspective goes a long way. This is especially true when it comes to the news coverage of CalPERS' recently announced investment returns for last fiscal year and the criticism of pensions in municipal bankruptcies. Let me offer a little perspective.

Last fiscal year, CalPERS earned a 1 percent return on our investments. The news has caused some people, including the media, to claim that the sky is falling and to demand that CalPERS "get real" and lower our investment assumptions. A few people have even personally blamed our investment staff.
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Legislators take on pension reform

Posted Aug 06, 2012 by newspaper editor    0 Comment(s)  0 Likes Like Dislike

After a monthlong break, the Legislature returns to work at the Capitol on Monday to take on one of the Golden State's thorniest issues: public employee pensions.

The Senate and Assembly have just four weeks to vote on hundreds of bills before the two-year session concludes at the end of the month, but the main focus will be on changing the pension compensation system.

Just what those changes will entail is unclear. Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed increasing the retirement age and creating a hybrid system that includes a 401(k)-style benefit, among other things, but lawmakers have yet to approve those or anything else.
After a monthlong break, the Legislature returns to work at the Capitol on Monday to take on one of the Golden State's thorniest issues: public employee pensions.

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Departments prepare to slash working retirees

Posted Jun 21, 2012 by newspaper editor    9 Comment(s)  -3 Likes Like Dislike

State Worker Sacramento Bee June 21, 2012

The Brown administration has put out the word: Departments, get ready to whack your working retirees.

The official term for the 5,800 or so state workers who draw both a pension and a paycheck is "retired annuitants." Sometimes they're tagged "double dippers." State workers occasionally refer to them as "retired irritants."

Gov. Jerry Brown has departments thinking about how to eliminate all retired annuitants except those in "mission critical" jobs. The idea enjoys near-universal acclaim.

Still, there are some holes in the arguments of the various proponents.

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Consider a few things before cutting pensions

Posted Jun 20, 2012 by newspaper editor    0 Comment(s)  0 Likes Like Dislike

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.

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CalPERS hike sets off alarm

Posted Jun 14, 2012 by newspaper editor    0 Comment(s)  0 Likes Like Dislike

When the nation's second largest purchaser of health care gets socked with a big rate hike, lots of people pay the price.

CalPERS' governing board approved an average 9.5 percent increase in premiums Wednesday, a move that will hurt taxpayers and public employees statewide. Given CalPERS' size and influence, it could affect health care premiums in the private sector, too.

The new rates will cost the average CalPERS member an extra $30 a month starting in January. State and local agencies will pay millions more, too.

"That is a lot," said Paul Ginsburg, who runs a health care think tank in Washington, reacting to CalPERS' announcement.

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CalPERS OKs 9.5 percent health premium hike, but Medicare recipients are spared

Posted Jun 13, 2012 by newspaper editor    1 Comment(s)  -1 Likes Like Dislike

CalPERS today approved a roughly 9.5 percent increase in health insurance premiums. The pension fund's governing board voted unanimously to approve the increase, which will cost the average CalPERS member another $30 a month in premiums. The increase takes effect Jan. 1.

It represents one of the biggest increases in years for CalPERS, which covers 1.3 million public workers and retirees and is one of the largest purchasers of the health care in the nation.

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Jerry Brown moves to eliminate retiree workers

Posted Jun 13, 2012 by newspaper editor    3 Comment(s)  -4 Likes Like Dislike

As Friday's state budget deadline approaches, a little-noticed provision in Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal would cut off thousands of retirees who return to work for the state.

The idea targets all but the most essential of the state's so-called "retired annuitants," a group of about 5,800 workers who drew $110 million in pay from the state last year on top of their pensions.

The Democratic governor's proposal could strike a chord with taxpayers by appearing to crack down on double-dipping. It also appeals to public employee unions – which want to eliminate jobs they believe stunt the growth of the regular workforce – at the same time he's asking union workers to accept furloughs and a 5 percent pay cut.

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