Nearing the finish line in the biggest scandal in CalPERS’ history, California officials accepted $20 million to settle civil charges over the bribery case that has hounded the giant pension fund for years.
Arvco Capital Research, a defunct Nevada investment bank owned by late financier Alfred Villalobos, agreed to pay the state $20 million to resolve a state lawsuit accusing Villalobos and his firm of bribing officials at CalPERS. The sum includes $10 million in attorneys’ fees
Jan. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A group of nationally recognized pension reformers today announced the launch of the Retirement Security Initiative (RSI), a national, bipartisan advocacy organization focused on helping state and local governments meet their pension obligations and avoid insolvency. Spearheading the group's efforts are: former Utah State Senator Dan Liljenquist; former Lt. Governor of New York Richard Ravitch; former Mayor of San Jose Chuck Reed; former CFO of Chicago Lois Scott; and financial restructuring expert Jim Spiotto.
Measure to curb California public pensions is pulled – for now
Sacramento Bee, Jan. 19, 2016
Beleaguered by fundraising doubts and attacks from organized labor, two former California officials said Monday they are backing off plans to place a measure on the November ballot intended to curb public pension benefits.
Instead, former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and former San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio said in a joint announcement, “We have decided to re-file at least one of our pension reform measures later this year for the November 2018 ballot.”
Reed said in a telephone interview that he is disappointed but undeterred. Professional fundraisers and potential donors, he said, believed that economics, politics and a pending U.S. Supreme Court decision would strengthen the likelihood of passing a pension measure in two years.
Sacramento Bee, Jan. 13, 2016 -- State and local public union officials plowed through a 100-page U.S. Supreme Court transcript on Monday, trying to divine how the nine justices are leaning in a case with the potential to tie a knot in the pipeline of money that feeds their treasuries.
While the outcome of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association could end compulsory payments to government unions, maintain the status quo or fall somewhere in between, the labor leaders interviewed by The Sacramento Bee remained optimistic regardless of the outcome that their associations would adapt.
“We’ll continue to exist,” said Dave Low, executive director of the California School Employees Association, “but it would weaken us.”
Chuck Reed and Carl DeMaio announced they will not be circulating for signatures the pension initiative they previously announced earlier this year while promising to announce two more pension initiatives. The decision reflects, again, that Reed and company can't "handle the truth" about their pension schemes. Impact of Reed/DeMaio Pension Measures on New Public Employees
The California State Retirees Health Benefits Committee is calling for CalPERS to extend open enrollment for retirees this year because changes in Medicare health plan offerings were not adequately explained in time for members to make informed decisions by the Oct. 9 enrollment deadline.
The following PDF is a list of bills that CSR is supporting, opposing or watching.
September 15, 2015 Legislative Report
CalPERS mailed out Health Plan Statements in August to help members review the increases or decreases in their providers’ 2016 rates and determine whether they want to make changes.
The biggest change for many state retirees in 2016 will be the new Medicare Advantage Plan, which was adopted by the CalPERS Board of Administration in an effort to improve member health and wellness, while lowering the costs of member health care.
More than 200 people participated in a webinar with CalPERS and UnitedHealthcare officials Aug. 19 in an effort to answer many of the questions surrounding the UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage PPO plan, which becomes the single provider of health services for four of the CalPERS Medicare Advantage plans in 2016.
The plans that will no longer be available to CalPERS Medicare members are Blueshield, Anthem HMO, Health Net and Sharp.
Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration has reached a tentative deal with a key employee union that would require state engineers to contribute toward their retirement health care benefits, likely establishing a template that will be applied to other state employee unions to help reduce a growing financial liability.
Under the three-year agreement, which still must be ratified by the union’s members and the Democratic-dominated Legislature, the Professional Engineers in California Government in mid-2017 would have to begin paying one-half of 1 percent of their pre-tax salaries into a fund to chip away at the fiscal millstone.