CSR | Political Activity

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.
[Read More...]



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.

[Read More...]



Prisons, privatization, patronage

Posted Jun 22, 2012 by newspaper editor    0 Comment(s)  0 Likes Like Dislike

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.

[Read More...]



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.

[Read More...]



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.

[Read More...]



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.

[Read More...]



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.

[Read More...]



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.

[Read More...]



California Highway Patrol officers' union agrees to monthly furlough

Posted Jun 08, 2012 by newspaper editor    0 Comment(s)  1 Likes Like Dislike

For the first time, California's Highway Patrol officers are going to be furloughed.

The union reached an agreement at with Gov. Jerry Brown that furloughs Patrol officers 8 hours per month for one year starting July 1. Officers can bank the hours to take later, but their paychecks will reflect the 5 percent pay reduction regardless.

Department of Personnel Administration spokeswoman Lynelle Jolley confirmed the agreement. Jon Hamm, CEO of the California Association of Highway Patrolmen, said that the language of the agreement encourages officers to take their banked furlough time before taking paid vacation.

The Brown administration had said that it wanted to avoid a policy that allowed banking furlough hours because that leads to employees taking less paid leave, creating a deferred cost for the state when the leave credits with monetary value are cashed out at the end of an employees' career.

[Read More...]



Votes on public pensions fuel calls for statewide change

Posted Jun 07, 2012 by newspaper editor    2 Comment(s)  0 Likes Like Dislike

 


Tuesday's landslide pension reform votes in San Diego and San Jose were just the early tremors in what could become a public pension earthquake by the end of this month.

The big question: What does this mean for pension reform legislation at the Capitol?

Gov. Jerry Brown, who has floated a 12-point pension reform plan, told a San Francisco Chronicle reporter on Wednesday that the vote in liberal San Jose was "a very powerful signal" that pension reform is "an imperative" that he's putting "at the top of the agenda." Brown thinks pension reform will make his tax initiative more palatable to voters in November, although he hasn't talked about it much until now.

 

[Read More...]



1 ... 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 ... 28

CSR is the largest, most experienced organization exclusively representing state government retirees!

 

Find Us

California State Retirees
3000 Advantage Way Sacramento, CA 95834

Contact Us

888.808.7197
916.326.4292
csrinfo@calretirees.org
Fax 916.326.4201

Follow Us

 
 

Hear From Us