Longtime 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.
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.
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. [Read More...]
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sacramento, Calif. - After an extensive recruitment effort, California State Retirees (CSR) hired two new staff members: Dani Schenone and Jamee Villa.
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.
Sacramento, Calif. - The California State Retirees Board of Administration voted to endorse the following candidates in the June 7 primary election:
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.
The open-seat candidates recommended here have completed CSR’s questionnaire (positively) and are strongly positioned to win in November.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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
Jan. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A group of nationally recognized pension reformers today announced the launch of the Retirement Security Initiative (RSI), a national, bipartisan advocacy organization focused on helping state and local governments meet their pension obligations and avoid insolvency. Spearheading the group's efforts are: former Utah State Senator Dan Liljenquist; former Lt. Governor of New York Richard Ravitch; former Mayor of San Jose Chuck Reed; former CFO of Chicago Lois Scott; and financial restructuring expert Jim Spiotto.
Measure to curb California public pensions is pulled – for now
Sacramento Bee, Jan. 19, 2016
Beleaguered by fundraising doubts and attacks from organized labor, two former California officials said Monday they are backing off plans to place a measure on the November ballot intended to curb public pension benefits.
Instead, former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and former San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio said in a joint announcement, “We have decided to re-file at least one of our pension reform measures later this year for the November 2018 ballot.”
Reed said in a telephone interview that he is disappointed but undeterred. Professional fundraisers and potential donors, he said, believed that economics, politics and a pending U.S. Supreme Court decision would strengthen the likelihood of passing a pension measure in two years.
Sacramento Bee, Jan. 13, 2016 -- State and local public union officials plowed through a 100-page U.S. Supreme Court transcript on Monday, trying to divine how the nine justices are leaning in a case with the potential to tie a knot in the pipeline of money that feeds their treasuries.
While the outcome of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association could end compulsory payments to government unions, maintain the status quo or fall somewhere in between, the labor leaders interviewed by The Sacramento Bee remained optimistic regardless of the outcome that their associations would adapt.
“We’ll continue to exist,” said Dave Low, executive director of the California School Employees Association, “but it would weaken us.”
Chuck Reed and Carl DeMaio announced they will not be circulating for signatures the pension initiative they previously announced earlier this year while promising to announce two more pension initiatives. The decision reflects, again, that Reed and company can't "handle the truth" about their pension schemes. Impact of Reed/DeMaio Pension Measures on New Public Employees