CSR News

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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CalPERS committee moves to recommend 2016 health rates; New Medicare Advantage plan is proposed

Posted Jun 16, 2015

CalPERS -- The California Public Employees' Retirement System's (CalPERS) Pension and Health Benefits Committee (PHBC)  recommended June 16 the Pension Fund's Board of Administration adopt health care premium rate and plan changes for 2016. The recommendations include adopting a Medicare plan alternative - UnitedHealthcare's (UHC) Medicare Advantage Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan - and eliminating Medicare Advantage plans currently offered by Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Health Net and Sharp. Kaiser Permanente will continue to offer its Medicare Advantage plan and the CalPERS PPO Medicare Supplement plans will remain in place.

CalPERS' decision to adopt UHC's PPO could save a minimum of $24 million if at least 40,000 members move into this new Medicare plan option.



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Medi-Cal phone lines are overwhelmed

Posted Jun 16, 2015

Sacramento Bee -- Thousands of calls to California’s Medi-Cal complaint lines don’t get through, and thousands more that manage to ring the call center go unanswered, according to a new state audit.

For the year that ended in January 2015, the phone system to the Medi-Cal Ombudsman Office rejected up to 45,000 calls in a month, State Auditor Elaine Howle said in her report to lawmakers.

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CSR Legislative Report - June 15, 2015

Posted Jun 15, 2015

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

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CVS is buying Target's drug stores and clinics for nearly $2 billion.

Posted Jun 15, 2015

CNNMoney (New York) -  CVS Health (CVS) and Target (TGT)announced Monday that they've made a deal for CVS to acquire Target's pharmacy and clinic businesses for $1.9 billion

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Debunking the “Crowding Out” Myth About Pensions

Posted Jun 09, 2015

By Brian Rice, President of the Sacramento Area Firefighters 

When they announced their ballot measure last week, critics of public employee retirement benefits engaged in hyperbole and pointing to potholes as evidence that millions of elderly Californians should be stripped of their retirement savings. Cities, they claim, are spending so much on retired police officers, firefighters and other employees that services – such as filling potholes or maintaining parks – are getting “crowded out.”

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POLL: Will California’s public pension proposal go to voters?

Posted Jun 09, 2015

SACRAMENTO BEE - Former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Carl DeMaio, a former San Diego city councilman and current radio talk show co-host, have a new ballot proposal that would constitutionally require that voters approve increases in compensation and retirement benefits for public employees.

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CalPERS responds to Reed's public pension measure

Posted Jun 04, 2015

"Inadequate financial preparation for retirement is a growing national concern. Defined benefit plans are the most cost-efficient way to save for retirement and should remain an important tool in retirement planning. All employees – whether in the public or private sectors – should have effective means to pursue retirement security," CalPERS said in a statement issued June 4.

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Public pensions are an integral part of recruiment and retention

Posted Jun 04, 2015

Fuzzy Math Continues To Drive Public Pension Hysteria

By Association of Deputy District Attorneys Board of Directors

Public employee pension systems are an integral part of recruiting and retaining high-performing public employees. They align the interests of the employer and the employee. A pension allows attorneys to work for the county District Attorney despite the prospect of a higher income in private practice. Once hired, DDAs have an incentive to stay during the most productive years of their career; and at the end of that career, DDAs can leave the office rather than cling to the job because it is their only source of income.

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Ballot measure would have voters decide public pension benefits

Posted Jun 04, 2015

For the third time in four years, advocates for altering public pensions have a plan they want to put to a statewide vote.

But this time the proposal by pension-change advocates Chuck Reed and Carl DeMaio has a new twist: Pensions and other retirement benefits themselves would automatically become a matter of ballot-box politics by requiring voter approval any time government officials sought to upgrade benefits.

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CSR Board Member Jerry Evans passes away

Posted Jun 01, 2015

Longtime CSR Board Member Jerry Evans, who was the District B director and the board’s former executive vice president and vice president, passed away suddenly on May 30.

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CSR Legislative Report - May 22, 2015

Posted May 26, 2015

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

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Justices make it easier to sue over 401 (k)s

Posted May 19, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday in favor of participants in employee retirement plans who object to companies' investment decisions that eat into retirement savings.

The justices revived claims by current and former employees of energy company Edison International. The employees argued that the company chose mutual funds with excessive fees.

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