When the city manager of troubled Stockton, Calif., had to tell city council members why it was on track to become the biggest American city yet to go bankrupt, it took hours to get through the list.
There was the free health care for retirees, the unpaid parking tickets, the revenue bonds without enough revenue to pay them. On it went, a grim drumbeat of practically every fiscal malady imaginable, except an obvious one: municipal pensions. Stockton is spending some $30 million a year to pay for them, but it has less than 70 cents set aside for every dollar of benefits its workers expect.
The cause of pension reform in California took a significant body shot Wednesday when a group hoping to put an overhaul measure before voters this year suspended its campaign.
Beleaguered by fundraising problems and questions about the viability of its proposals, California Pension Reform shut down its efforts. The group's officials blamed the demise on a "false and misleading" summary of the plan by Attorney General Kamala Harris, a charge the Democrat denied.
The death of California Pension Reform's efforts also wounded Gov. Jerry Brown's pension proposals to the Democratic-controlled Legislature, one analyst said, by removing the threat of a more draconian measure going before voters.
Health benefits for government retirees may not be eliminated if state and local governments had clearly promised workers those benefits, the California Supreme Court ruled in an Orange County case Monday. [Read More...]
Approximately half of California workers will retire in or near poverty, according to a study published Monday by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education. [Read More...]
A new study by the Center for Retirement Research and Boston College refutes the notion that state and local government workers as a group end up a lot richer than their private sector counterparts. [Read More...]
The time for CalPERS members to make changes to their health plan or add eligible family members begins Oct. 10 and continues through Nov. 4. In mid-August, CalPERS Open Enrollment packets were mailed to eligible members. [Read More...]
California’s largest state retiree organization
a new name and a new attitude about
up to public pension critics [Read More...]
Nearly half of California workers will retire in or near poverty, shows a new study released by the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education, "California Workers’ Retirement Prospects."
While retirement security is and will be a problem in the whole of the nation, the situation is worse in California, because California workers have less access to employer retirement plans than workers in the United States as a whole, according to the study authors.
Faced with a growing pension burden, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the City Council moved this summer to freeze the amount of healthcare benefits given to thousands of police and firefighters once they retire. Those benefits would not increase in coming years, Villaraigosa said, unless employees contribute more toward retirement from their paychecks. [Read More...]
CalPERS Sept. 7, 2011 -- CalPERS is consolidating 49 different computer systems into one new integrated system this September. This new system will streamline many CalPERS processes as well as decrease dependency on paper documents. New member self-service capabilities will be introduced in 2012.