CSR News

CSR Legislative Report

Posted Feb 09, 2015

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

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Lawsuits filed over Anthem data breach

Posted Feb 09, 2015

Class-action lawsuits have been filed in California and two other states against health insurer Anthem over a data breach affecting about 80 million customers, former customers and employees, Modern Healthcare reports.

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Turbo Tax reports data breach, suspends online filings

Posted Feb 06, 2015

WALL STREET JOURNAL -- The nation’s biggest online tax-software company halted electronic filing of all state returns amid reports from states of criminal attempts to obtain refunds through its systems.

Intuit said its TurboTax unit took action Thursday after seeing attempts to use stolen personal information to file fraudulent returns for tax refunds.

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Massive breach at Anthem Insurance Company

Posted Feb 05, 2015

 As many as 80 million customers of the nation's second-largest health insurance company, Anthem Inc., have had their account information stolen, the company said in a statement.

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Governor's health proposal could hurt retirees

Posted Feb 05, 2015

If you’re a state retiree or planning to become one, a piece of Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2015-16 budget proposal could hit your wallet.

The governor’s plan envisions a new high-deductible, lower-premium health insurance policy for state workers. It would be paired with a tax-advantaged health savings account and take effect Jan. 1, 2016.

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Feckner and Jones are elected as CalPERS president and vice president

Posted Jan 21, 2015

The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) Board of Administration unanimously re-elected Rob Feckner as Board president and elected Henry Jones as vice president. Feckner will be serving his 11th term as president, while it will be Jones' first vice presidential term.

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Figure in CalPERS corruption case apparently commits suicide

Posted Jan 14, 2015

In failing health and facing up to 30 years in prison, businessman Alfred Villalobos apparently committed suicide before going on trial in connection with the bribery scandal at CalPERS.

Villalobos’ attorneys, appearing at a pre-trial hearing in U.S. District Court on Wednesday, disclosed that Villalobos died the day before. His death ends the government’s criminal case against the Nevada businessman –and largely closes the books on a corruption scandal that roiled the nation’s largest public pension fund.

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Key figure in CalPERS corruption case dies

Posted Jan 14, 2015

The Sacramento Bee reported Jan. 14 that Alfred Villalobos, accused of bribing former CalPERS Chief Executive Officer Fred Buenrostro to influence the fund’s business decisions, has died.

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CalPERS fiscal health improves

Posted Jan 14, 2015

A new report on the fiscal health of CalPERS shows an estimated funding level of 77 percent for the Public Employees’ Retirement Fund (PERF) in 2014 – a positive growth of more than 7 percentage points over 2013. The PERF was funded at 69.8 percent as of June 30, 2013 based on the most recent actuarial value of assets. The PERF is the main pension trust fund that pays retirement benefits.

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CSR's legislative advocate Ted Toppin reviews the governor's proposed budget

Posted Jan 09, 2015

Budget deliberation kicked off in the Capitol this morning with the release of Governor Brown’s proposed 2015-2016 state budget.  He proposes $113.3 billion in general fund and $51.4 billion in special fund expenditures making for a $164.7 billion spending plan.  This represents a 1.4 percent bump over current year spending.

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Governor releases his proposed state budget

Posted Jan 09, 2015

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. on Jan. 9 proposed a balanced budget that injects billions of dollars more into schools and health care coverage, holds college tuition flat and delivers on Propositions 1 and 2 by investing in long overdue water projects and saving money, while continuing to chip away at the state’s other long-term liabilities – debt, infrastructure, retiree health care and climate change.

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CalPERS issues statement on proposed state budget

Posted Jan 09, 2015

 Anne Stausboll, Chief Executive Officer for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) issued the following statement today in response to the proposed state budget and efforts to reduce health care costs today and in the future:

"Managing and paying for the cost of health care for public employees requires discipline, collaboration and innovation. We applaud the Governor’s wisdom to do what CalPERS and many public employers have done in recent years, tackling the cost of health care and retiree health care," Stausboll said.

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Brown's budget aims at retiree costs

Posted Dec 18, 2014

It’s official: Gov. Jerry Brown’s January budget proposal will include a plan to reduce the nearly $72 billion in unfunded promises the state has made to pay retiree health benefits.

Now how to pay it? Answer: Money in the rainy day fund that voters approved just last month, Proposition 2.

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Congress agrees to allow cuts to some retiree benefits

Posted Dec 11, 2014

Retirees covered by financially troubled multiemployer pensions could soon see their benefits cut under a congressional spending deal to keep the government running, the Associated Press (AP) reported Dec. 10.

The plan does not affect public pensions like those under CalPERS, but California State Retirees is closely monitoring this and all other pension issues and trends.

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Congressional leaders hammer out deal to allow pension plans to cut retiree benefits

Posted Dec 10, 2014

The following article appeared on the Washington Post website regarding a plan that would allow pension plans to cut retiree benefits. The California State Retirees is closely monitoring this legislation, and assessing the impact. We will keep our members apprised as new information becomes available. The article is presented below for your information. California State Retirees

The Washington Post -- A measure that would for the first time allow the benefits of current retirees to be severely cut is set to be attached to a massive spending bill, part of an effort to save some of the nation’s most distressed pension plans.
 
The rule would alter 40 years of federal law and could affect millions of workers, many of them part of a shrinking corps of middle-income employees in businesses such as trucking, construction and supermarkets.

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New research shows defined benefit plans can provide pensions at half the cost of individual accounts

Posted Dec 04, 2014

A new report finds that defined benefit (DB) pension plans are a far more cost-efficient means of providing retirement income as compared to individual defined contribution (DC) accounts. The study calculates that the economic efficiencies embedded in pensions enable these retirement plans to deliver the same retirement income at a 48% lower cost than 401(k)-type DC accounts.

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Appeal threatens federal court ruling on Stockton bankruptcy

Posted Nov 14, 2014

Taking aim again at government pensions, an angry creditor in Stockton’s bankruptcy case is appealing a pivotal court ruling that preserved the city’s retirement plans.

Franklin Templeton Investments filed a notice of appeal this week, challenging the Oct. 30 decision that approved Stockton’s reorganization plan. The plan keeps the pensions fully funded but pays Franklin, which loaned the city $36 million during better economic times, just 12 cents on the dollar.

 

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Former CSR Board Member Max Turchen passes away

Posted Nov 05, 2014

Max Turchen, a longtime CSR board member and political activist, passed away Oct. 31 at the age of 94. “Max was a tireless champion for the rights of retirees and workers, and he will be sorely missed,” said CSR President Tim Behrens. “He was dedicated, hard working and most importantly – he was a good man.”

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CalPERS gets $249 million settlement from Bank of America

Posted Nov 04, 2014

CalPERS said Nov. 3 it has received a $249.3 million payment from Bank of America, the result of a settlement over toxic mortgage securities purchased by the pension fund during the housing bubble. With the Bank of America settlement, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System said it has now recovered more than $500 million from its investments in bad mortgage securities.

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Judge allows Stockton to proceed with bankruptcy plan

Posted Oct 30, 2014

A bankruptcy judge today approved the city of Stockton’s plan for repaying creditors, a plan to keeps pensions intact despite the objections of a disgruntled investment firm. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein approved the city’s plan during a two hour hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Sacramento, rejecting the complaints from San Mateo-based Franklin Templeton Investment over how it is being treated. Franklin, which is getting repaid about 12 cents on the dollar over some bond debts, had argued its treatment was unfair in light of the city’s refusal to reduce pension contributions to CalPERS.

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