CSR News

CalPERS Retirement Planning Fairs

Posted Jul 05, 2013

Learn about your CalPERS benefits and the retirement planning services available to you at a free Retirement Planning Fair. Meet representatives from CalPERS Regional Offices, program areas and partner organizations. Five classroom-style breakout sessions will provide information on retirement and health benefits, service credit and more. Use this one-stop shopping guide to access all of your planning needs.

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Mail Ballot Election Results

Posted Jun 27, 2013

CSR Delegates determined, via a mail ballot, whether or not to change CSR Bylaws, Article IX, Section 5(A) reducing the delegate ratio from 1 delegate per 100 active chapter members to 1 delegate per 200 active members. The proposal further specified that no chapter shall have fewer than three delegates.

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2014 health care rates are recommended to CalPERS board

Posted Jun 18, 2013

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s (CalPERS) Pension and Health Benefits Committee (PHBC) today recommended the Board of Administration approve a 2014 health care package that would raise overall premiums next year by an average of 3 percent for the Pension Fund’s nearly 1.3 million health program members, the lowest average increase since 1998. The rate is lower than the 9.6 percent increase in 2013. If the full Board approves the new premium rates, they will take effect January 1, 2014.

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CSR Legislative Report

Posted May 14, 2013

The following PDF is a list of Bills that CSR is supporting, opposing, or watching.

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CalPERS seeking to catch errors, fraud in health enrollment

Posted May 07, 2013

Jon Ortiz
Sacramento Bee
jortiz@sacbee.com 

CalPERS is moving to strike from government health care rolls tens of thousands of people it believes are mistakenly or fraudulently receiving benefits.

The fund, which is the second-largest health care purchaser in the nation after the federal government, figured last year that removing an estimated 29,000 wrongly listed children, spouses and domestic partners of government employees would save approximately $40 million annually.

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2013 retirement check pay day

Posted Dec 31, 2012

CalPERS retirement benefits are paid at the end of the month.

The chart below shows you the pay days for 2013. Since checks are issued by the State Controller's Office, they determine the mailing dates. If you have direct deposit, your financial institution has until the close of the direct deposit date to place the funds in your account. Please contact your financial institution to find out what time it places your funds in your account.
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CSR Board hikes dues for top retirees

Posted Dec 04, 2012

Retirees who receive $4,000 or more in their monthly retirement warrants will see a $2 hike in their CSR dues payment beginning Jan. 1, 2013.

Dues will stay the same for CSR members who make less than $4,000 a month. It has been more than a decade since CSR raised dues for any of its members.

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CSR suggests candidates in the Nov. 6 election

Posted Oct 19, 2012

The California State Retirees Board of Directors is endorsing the following candidates in the Nov. 6 General Election.

Recommendations were made to the board by the CSR Political Action Committee (PAC), which considers each candidate’s voting record on issues such as protecting pensions and health benefits for state retirees.

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CalPERS approves long-term care premium increase

Posted Oct 18, 2012

      The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) Board of Administration Oct. 17 approved an 85 percent premium increase for early purchasers of its Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance Program policies. The increase, to be spread over two years, is being implemented to help stabilize the program’s underlying Long-Term Care Fund and will take effect July 2015.

      Members who opt to cover the increase in a single year will pay only 79 percent. Policyholders affected by the increase purchased two types of policies between 1995 and 2004: policies with lifetime benefits with inflation protection, and policies with lifetime benefits without inflation protection (California Partnership policies will be excluded).

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Medicare Part D mailing -- CalPERS members should do nothing

Posted Oct 04, 2012

     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

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

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
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

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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Prisons, privatization, patronage

Posted Jun 22, 2012

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.

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Departments prepare to slash working retirees

Posted Jun 21, 2012

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

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

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

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

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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