CSR News

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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CalPERS names Doug McKeever as deputy executive officer for benefit programs, policies and planning

Posted Sep 02, 2015


 The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) has named Doug McKeever the new Deputy Executive Officer (DEO) for Benefit Programs Policy and Planning.

McKeever, who has [Read More...]


Get to Know the UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage PPO Plan

Posted Sep 01, 2015

This is a video from CalPERS detailing the UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage PPO Plan. Read more to view the video at your leasure and learn more about the plan.

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CSR Legislative Report - August 28, 2015

Posted Aug 28, 2015

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

August 28, 2015 Legislative Report

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Count the bad ideas in California pension proposal

Posted Aug 21, 2015

Along with taxation and immigration, one political issue that never seems to go away is the cost of public employees, especially their pensions.

Public retirement plans are consistently blamed for local and state budget woes. Any time a community runs into fiscal trouble, its workers are among the first to be demonized, and often bear the brunt of the remedies. After all, pension obligations are typically among the largest liabilities any government entity must bear, so why not hack away?

In California, pension overhaul proposals have become a perennial feature of state and local ballot campaigns. Failed proposals were aimed at the statewide ballot twice in the last four years, and the proponents of the last effort, in 2014, have started the ball rolling for a new measure.

 

 

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Attorney General releases summary on Reed initiative

Posted Aug 12, 2015

Proponents of a California ballot initiative requiring pension changes to go through a public vote on Tuesday rejected Attorney General Kamala Harris’ official description of the measure as an attempt “to try to mislead the public.”

For every ballot measure, the attorney general’s office issues a short name and description to appear on the petitions that backers use to get signatures. Because it is often the entry point for voters to understand what’s in a ballot initiative, the wording carries high stakes.

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Reed/DeMaio initiative threatens the middle class

Posted Jul 27, 2015

By Dave Low, chair of Californians for Retirement Security

In their never-ending effort to force-feed warmed-over political ideas to a skeptical public, the pension attackers are back, using new poll-tested language and focus-grouped talking points to undermine retirement security for millions of working families.

Under the Orwellian moniker of the “Voter Empowerment Act,” former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, former San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio and their anti-pension cohorts are proposing nothing short of gutting the public employee pension system – one of the last bastions of middle-class economic security.

They are falsely selling their proposed ballot measure as a potential cut in pensions for new employees. In reality, it could cut or eliminate pensions earned by current employees for future work.

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David Crane swings and misses on CalPERS investments

Posted Jul 22, 2015

In an email to journalists and election officials, David Crane arrives at a false conclusion with his claim that CalPERS unfunded actuarial liability (UAL) will continue to grow unless the system achieves a return of at least 9.7%, not the 7.5% CalPERS currently assumes.

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CSR Legislative Report - July 17, 2015

Posted Jul 20, 2015

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

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CalPERS chief to cut volatility of pension fund

Posted Jul 16, 2015

The California Public Employees' Retirement System, projected to have negative cash flow for at least the next 15 years, is looking to recast investment priorities to slash the complexity and volatility embedded in its $301-billion portfolio, officials said on Tuesday.

Fund officials, recognizing that the wave of retiring baby boomers means it will pay out more in benefits than it takes in from contributions and investment income - a gap that could reach $10 billion by 2030 - are expecting to pivot more toward assets that deliver reliable income than in the past.

 

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CSR Legislative Report - July 1, 2015

Posted Jul 01, 2015

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

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CalPERS releases report on investments and their benefits

Posted Jun 17, 2015

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) today released its annual CalPERS for California Report, detailing the broad ancillary benefits the System’s investments generated in California for the 2013-14 Fiscal Year. Additionally, CalPERS released an updated version of the California Initiative Report, highlighting a program that encourages investments in companies located in traditionally underserved California markets.

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