CSR News

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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Public pension critics launch another initiative

Posted Jan 27, 2016

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.

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Reed, DeMaio drop pension measure -- for now

Posted Jan 19, 2016

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.

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Unions discuss possible implications of Supreme Court case on fair share fees

Posted Jan 13, 2016

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.”

 

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One pension scheme shelved -- New ballot measure planned

Posted Oct 08, 2015

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

 

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CSR urges CalPERS to extend open enrollment for Medicare members

Posted Oct 01, 2015

The California State Retirees Health Benefits Committee is calling for CalPERS to extend open enrollment for retirees this year because changes in Medicare health plan offerings were not adequately explained in time for members to make informed decisions by the Oct. 9 enrollment deadline.

 

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CSR Legislative Report - September 15, 2015

Posted Sep 15, 2015

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

September 15, 2015 Legislative Report

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CalPERS Open Enrollment runs Sept. 14 to Oct. 9

Posted Sep 08, 2015

CalPERS mailed out Health Plan Statements in August to help members review the increases or decreases in their providers’ 2016 rates and determine whether they want to make changes.

The biggest change for many state retirees in 2016 will be the new Medicare Advantage Plan, which was adopted by the CalPERS Board of Administration in an effort to improve member health and wellness, while lowering the costs of member health care.

 

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Recorded webinar offers information about UnitedHealthcare

Posted Sep 08, 2015

More than 200 people participated in a webinar with CalPERS and UnitedHealthcare officials Aug. 19 in an effort to answer many of the questions surrounding the UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage PPO plan, which becomes the single provider of health services for four of the CalPERS Medicare Advantage plans in 2016.

The plans that will no longer be available to CalPERS Medicare members are Blueshield, Anthem HMO, Health Net and Sharp.

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Agreement could lead the way for retiree health care pre-funding

Posted Sep 02, 2015

Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration has reached a tentative deal with a key employee union that would require state engineers to contribute toward their retirement health care benefits, likely establishing a template that will be applied to other state employee unions to help reduce a growing financial liability.

Under the three-year agreement, which still must be ratified by the union’s members and the Democratic-dominated Legislature, the Professional Engineers in California Government in mid-2017 would have to begin paying one-half of 1 percent of their pre-tax salaries into a fund to chip away at the fiscal millstone.

 

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