CSR News

Bill to raise funeral benefit is vetoed

Posted Sep 28, 2016

A bill that would have authorized the California Public Employees’ Retirement System to adjust the current $2,000 post-retirement death benefit for state and school retirees was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 26.
 

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Celebration of life for Gus Lease is set for Oct. 1 at SJSU

Posted Sep 15, 2016

Music was his life, so it is fitting that the celebration of life for Gus C. Lease will be in the Music Building Concert Hall at San Jose State University at 1 p.m. Oct. 1. A reception will follow on the lawn between the Music Building and the SJSU Event Center.

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New report from CSR Health Benefits Committee | CalPERS Health Plan Open Enrollment Considerations & Pharmacy Benefits Changes

Posted Sep 08, 2016

Health Plan Open Enrollment for CalPERS members is Sept. 12- Oct. 7. Most members who are satisfied with their current plan need do nothing to remain in the same plan. The exception is Blue Cross Net Value members. That plan is being discontinued.
If members on that plan do nothing, they will automatically be transitioned to Blue Shield Access Plus, starting Jan. 1, 2017. Or they may choose another health plan during this Open Enrollment period.

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Surprise medical billing measure heads to Jerry Brown

Posted Sep 07, 2016

Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, calls on lawmakers to approve his measure to end surprise medical bills from out-of-network doctors, on the final day of the legislative session. 

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Gus Lease – the ‘voice of CSEA’ – passes away

Posted Sep 06, 2016

Gus LeaseLongtime CSR and CSEA activist Gus C. Lease, also known by many as “The Voice of CSEA,” passed away Sept. 4 at the age of 93.

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CalPERS Open Enrollment materials now available online

Posted Aug 23, 2016

Sacramento, CA – The CalPERS health plan Open Enrollment period begins soon – September 12 through October 7 – but Open Enrollment materials are now  available online to our members to help them select the best plan for their families.

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Barbara LaPlante – CSR’s first female president – passes away

Posted Aug 18, 2016

Barbara LaPlante, the first female president of California State Retirees, Inc., passed away Aug. 14. She was 89.

LaPlante also had the distinction of holding the position of president – formerly known as director – for more than 10 years, longer than any previous member of California State Retirees, Inc., which is now known as California State Retirees. She also held many other positions in the organization, including regional director.

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CSR: CalPERS erred in calculating employer contribution amount

Posted Aug 11, 2016

Sacramento, Calif. – California State Retirees (CSR) believes CalPERS erred in calculating the 2017 100/90 State Annuitant employer contribution amount. 

Government Code section 22871 requires using the current year's top four health care plans to establish the next year's state contribution amount. 

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Rob Feckner: CalPERS is prepared for market's fluctuations

Posted Aug 01, 2016

Sacramento, Calif. – Rob Feckner, president of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) board of administration, penned an op-ed in today’s issue of The Sacramento Bee highlighting the importance of their long-term investment vision.

The op-ed comes after adverse news coverage of CalPERS’ decision to implement a new risk-reduction strategy. The plan, passed by a 4-3 vote, lowers the discount rate during strong years of investment returns. According to Feckner, this conservative approach will lower risk and volatility in the system. The goal is to ultimately reduce the rate from 7.5 percent to 6.5 percent over a 20-year period.

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CalPERS open enrollment is set to begin

Posted Jul 18, 2016

Sacramento, Calif. - Be on the look out! CalPERS is beginning to send mailers this month explaining to members how to make changes to their health plans online. Open Enrollment information will be available online on Aug. 22, but members may only make changes, additions, and deletions via their my|CalPERS account at my.calpers.ca.gov during Open Enrollment from Sept. 12 to Oct. 7.

 

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CalPERS names Marcie Frost its new CEO

Posted Jul 14, 2016

Sacramento, Calif. – The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) Board of Administration announced Marcie Frost as the Pension Fund’s new chief executive officer (CEO). Frost, 51, will replace former CalPERS CEO Anne Stausboll.

As CEO, Frost will oversee 2,870 employees and a budget of more than $1.7 billion. Several programs under Frost’s scope include healthcare delivery, retirement benefits, investments, finance and risk management, supplemental retirement programs, legislative affairs, actuarial services, stakeholder relations, and numerous support functions.

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CSR hires two new staff members

Posted Jul 11, 2016

Sacramento, Calif. - After an extensive recruitment effort, California State Retirees (CSR) hired two new staff members: Dani Schenone and Jamee Villa.

  

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CalPERS names Douglas Hoffner as interim Chief Executive Officer

Posted Jul 05, 2016

Sacramento, Calif. - CalPERS recently announced Douglas Hoffner as the interim Chief Executive Officer. Check out the CalPERS article below for more information on Hoffner.

"Douglas Hoffner was named Interim Chief Executive Officer in July 2016.

He previously served as Deputy Executive Officer for Operations in Technology where he provided executive leadership over key enterprise functions including business and strategic planning, information technology, human resources, diversity and inclusion, and operational and facilities management.

 

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California State Retirees endorses 2016 candidates

Posted Jun 03, 2016

Sacramento, Calif. - The California State Retirees Board of Administration voted to endorse the following candidates in the June 7 primary election:

Legislative Incumbents
The vast majority of the Democratic incumbents recommended for endorsement are legislators who CSR has endorsed in the past and/or supported financially. Republican candidates recommended for endorsement have supported state employee Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) bills to augment state employee pay and benefits, and the state budget which includes funding for retiree healthcare and CalPERS. They also refrained from demagogic attacks on public employee pensions. Most are running for reelection unopposed and/or without serious opposition in districts that strongly favor them. For these reasons, both recommended Democrats and Republicans are certain, or nearly certain, of advancing in June and winning in November 2016.

Open-Seat Candidates
The open-seat candidates recommended here have completed CSR’s questionnaire (positively) and are strongly positioned to win in November.

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Big question mark – voter turnout on June 7

Posted Jun 03, 2016

Ted Toppin, CSR legislative advocate

Sacramento, Calif. - June, of course, brings California’s statewide primary election. Voters will nominate candidates for President, U.S. Senate and 53 congressional seats. We will decide on one proposition of little consequence, pick the two candidates who will compete for 20 state Senate and 80 state Assembly seats in November, and make countless other decisions in our local communities.

There’s really nothing left to add about the presidential campaign. It’s ugly, and it is going to get uglier. The U.S. Senate race – which features 34 candidates – is of interest mainly because we are replacing the woman who has held the job for 24 years – Barbara Boxer.

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CalPERS comments on federal sentencing of former CEO Fred Buenrostro

Posted Jun 03, 2016

May 31, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SACRAMENTO, CA  The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) today issued the following statements on the sentencing of its former Chief Executive Officer, Fred Buenrostro, in federal court in San Francisco on bribery charges. Mr. Buenrostro served as CEO of CalPERS from 2002 to 2008.

Rob Feckner, CalPERS Board of Administration President: “This saga has now come to an end. We are stewards of a sacred trust, and it must never be compromised for personal gain. As an organization, we’ve taken meaningful steps to strengthen accountability and transparency throughout CalPERS. We’ll continue to work to make sure these measures are rigorously followed and that we hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards.”

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Supreme Court deadlock upholds win for unions in fee case

Posted Mar 29, 2016

In this 2013, photo provided by Center for Individual Rights, Rebecca Friedrichs, a veteran Orange County, Calif., public school teacher, poses for a portrait. A tie vote from the Supreme Court means public sector unions in about half the states can continue collecting fees from workers who choose not to join. The justices on Tuesday, March 29, 2016, divided 4-4 in a case that considered whether public employees represented by a union can be required to pay "fair share" fees covering collective bargaining costs even if they are not members. Courtesy of the Center for Individual Rights via AP Greg Schneider

In this 2013, photo provided by Center for Individual Rights, Rebecca Friedrichs, a veteran Orange County, Calif., public school teacher, poses for a portrait. A tie vote from the Supreme Court means public sector unions in about half the states can continue collecting fees from workers who choose not to join. The justices on Tuesday, March 29, 2016, divided 4-4 in a case that considered whether public employees represented by a union can be required to pay "fair share" fees covering collective bargaining costs even if they are not members. 

Courtesy of the Center for Individual Rights via AP Greg Schneider.

 

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Retirement for all proposal moves ahead

Posted Mar 28, 2016

Sacramento, Calif. - By the end of the decade, millions of California workers could be enrolled automatically in a state-run retirement program viewed by proponents as the most significant attempt to address golden-years poverty since the New Deal.

After more than two years of work, the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Investment Board will vote Monday on a slate of recommendations to the Legislature on what a state-managed plan should look like. Those will be folded into pending legislation by Senate leader Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, with the goal of putting a bill on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk this summer.

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California’s pension debt puts it $175.1 billion in the red

Posted Mar 18, 2016

Gov. Jerry Brown uses charts to outline his proposed 2016-17 budget. The budget pegs unfunded retiree health care debt at $71.8 billion.

Although its 2014-15 budget was balanced, California’s state government ended the fiscal year $175.1 billion in the red, thanks largely to state retirement obligations that had to be included in its balance sheet for the first time.

Under new rules by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, state and local governments must list unfunded pension liabilities as debts alongside the more traditional bonds and other forms of debt.

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California to collect $20 million in CalPERS bribery settlement

Posted Mar 18, 2016

The late Alfred Villalobos, who was accused of bribing CalPERS officials, speaking in 2008 at the dedication of a building named for him at Whittier College.

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

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