CSR News

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed tweaks public pension ballot proposal

Posted Nov 14, 2013

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has revised the public employee pension ballot measure, tweaking its language to fend off opponents’ criticisms that the proposed constitutional amendment circumvents collective bargaining and guarantees proponents a payday in state-subsidized legal fees to defend the measure if the state attorney general declined to fight lawsuits that would certainly follow the its approval.

“In the last two or three weeks we’ve talked to a lot of people,” Reed said this morning in a telephone interview, including the legislative analyst staff and the attorney general’s office. “Some parts of our measure weren’t clear. So we’re trying to make it clear what our intentions are.”

Union opponents seized on the revision -- and a switch in the lineup of the measure’s proponents -- as a sign that the proposal is in trouble. Among other things, Reed’s proposal would change California’s constitution to allow public employee pensions to be lowered prospectively for current workers. A body of case law appears to make that illegal without another form of compensation to offset that loss.

 

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Yolanda Solari is remembered as strong and effective

Posted Nov 04, 2013

For more than half a century, Yolanda Solari dedicated much of her life to fighting for the rights of state workers, state retirees and California citizens in general.

She passed away Oct. 30 at the age of 90.

She held several elected offices within CSEA, which currently has about 140,000 members in four affiliates, including California State Retirees.

She was first elected president of CSEA in 1990 – the third woman to hold the position, and the first to serve three two-year terms.

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Governor signs CSR-endorsed bills

Posted Oct 15, 2013

Governor signs CSR-endorsed bills

Gov. Brown signed five bills in October that are beneficial to senior citizens and supported by California State Retirees (CSR).

Of the 896 bills the Legislature sent the governor this year before adjourning in September, the governor signed 800 and vetoed 96, according to Ted Toppin, legislative advocate for CSR. The approved bills go into effect Jan. 1, 2014.

 

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Jelincic and Bilbrey are preliminary CalPERS board winners

Posted Oct 04, 2013

Incumbents Joseph Jelincic and Michael Bilbrey Preliminary Winners of CalPERS Board Election

SACRAMENTO, CA – Joseph (JJ) Jelincic and Michael Bilbrey are the preliminary winners to fill two Member-At-Large seats on the Board of Administration for the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) according to unofficial results released today by the Pension Fund. Formal certification of the results must be made by California's Secretary of State.

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25,000 CalPERS members have not received their CalPERS ballots

Posted Sep 25, 2013

It has come to our attention that approximately 25,000 CalPERS members do not have a mailing address on file at CalPERS, and therefore did not receive a ballot for the CalPERS 2013 Board Member-At-Large-Election.

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CSR Legislative Report

Posted Sep 20, 2013

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

 
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CalPERS candidate forum is set for Sept. 5

Posted Aug 28, 2013

    The public is invited to learn more about the candidates running for Seat A and Seat B on the CalPERS Board of Administration by attending a candidate forum from 3 to 5 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 5, in the Robert C. Carlson Auditorium at  CalPERS Headquarters in Sacramento.

     Ballots were mailed Aug. 30 to the home addresses of CalPERS members eligible to vote in the election for the two open member-at-large positions. The voting period runs through Sept. 27 – the deadline for returning ballots to CalPERS.

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CSR Legislative Report

Posted Aug 27, 2013

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

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CSR calls for legislative hearings to protect retirees' privacy

Posted Aug 16, 2013

California State Retirees President Tim Behrens wrote letters this week to legislative leaders urging them to hold special legislative hearings to investigate the many critical issues raised by a now-stalled CalPERS proposal to post a searchable database that provides the name and benefits of all of its 550,000 retirees.

“CSR – the largest state retiree organization in California – is deeply concerned about the potential threats a database searchable by member name poses to our 33,000 members,” Behrens said in letters to Sen. Jim Beall, the chair of the Senate Public Employees and Retirement Committee and to Assemblyman Rob Bonta, chair of the Assembly Public Employees and Social Security Committee. “Many of our members are of an advanced age which makes them vulnerable to scams and rip-offs that seek to separate them from their hard-earned pensions and other assets. Releasing their names will make them susceptible to harassing marketers, fraudulent activity and identity theft.”

A similar letter from Behrens was sent CalPERS President Rob Feckner.

Behrens said that California State Retirees recognizes that CalPERS member information has been considered public information for some time and that there is indeed some value in providing public access to pension data.

“Nevertheless, we do not believe that it is appropriate to release the name and pension data of every recipient in a searchable database that could be used to target individual retirees,” Behrens said.

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CSR to fight pension data release by CalPERS

Posted Jul 11, 2013

California State Retirees (CSR) – the largest state retiree organization in California – announced today that it is seeking legislation to limit the amount of pension information currently available through CalPERS under the Public Records Act.

“We understand that some public information must be released by law, but we do not support a pension data system like what CalPERS had proposed because it would have revealed much more than just how much a retiree’s pension is,” said California State Retirees President Tim Behrens. “Most of the 33,000 members in our organization are elderly and many are vulnerable. Releasing even just their name can make them targets for identity theft and harassing marketers and scammers.”

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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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