Pension Reform

Top lawyer for controller benefits from much-criticized state perk

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

The state government's practice of letting workers defy official state policy and pile up unused vacation days and cash them in upon retirement has been criticized on and off for years. California government watchdogs and journalists have outlined the budget problems this causes and noted other stat...

Retirement will be painful for most

Friday, January 2nd, 2015
Retirement will be painful for most

In an excellent column in the U-T San Diego, Dan McSwain paints a grim retirement picture for almost everybody: For most Americans, it’s tempting to live in denial or outright fantasyland when it comes to paying for retirement. That’s because doing the math evokes less-pleasant emotions like f...

Harsh impact of CalSTRS bailout begins to emerge

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

The deal struck in spring 2014 to bail out the underfunded California State Teachers' Retirement System will lead school districts, the state and teachers to increase their annual contributions to CalSTRS from $5.9 billion in 2014 to at least $10.9 billion in fiscal 2020-21, with 70 percent of the e...

Pension reformer Chuck Reed will fight on

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

San Jose is in the center of the world's economic pulse, Silicon Valley. By all rights, its city treasury ought to be overflowing with digital wealth. Instead it has flirted with bankruptcy because of its burgeoning pension problem -- a problem that already was the major cause of the bankruptcie...

Coal ban would boost tax cost of pensions

Friday, December 19th, 2014
coal plant wikimedia

California public pensions already have a big problem with adequate funding. The nonpartisan state Legislative Analyst pegs the pensions' unfunded liabilities at $340 billion. It should be obvious what the investment strategy should be for the California Public Employees System, the California St...

CalPERS retirees soon to surpass workers

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Outgoing San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, the Democratic pension reformer, has a great joke. He says that, soon, his city will have a single employee; whose only job will be to mail pension checks to retirees. CalPERS is gettin' there. Reports In a few years CalPERS retirees are ex...

Upbeat LAO report lacks key focus: CalSTRS bailout cost

Friday, November 21st, 2014

The Legislative Analyst's Office released an analysis of state revenue this week that suggests the state won't suffer when temporary tax hikes expire. This is from AP: SACRAMENTO -- A steadily improving economy will buffer California's budget from a drop in revenue expected when temporary tax hikes...

2014’s low turnout eases path for 2016 tenure, pension ballot measures

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Rick Claussen, Ned Wigglesworth, and Aaron McLear of the Redwood Pacific consulting group have released an interesting memo that is good news for those considering taking on public employee unions in 2016 with ballot measures putting limits on government pensions or scrapping state laws allowing tea...

Modest-seeming CalSTRS pension estimate lacks key context

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

The California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers do a good job of promoting the narrative that state teacher pensions are very modest at best. It's true that there aren't the same type of outrageous stories that we see in local and state government about police chiefs,...

BK judge slams taxpayers on Stockton pensions

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

In boon to public pensioners and a shock to taxpayers throughout California, federal Judge Christopher M. Klein approved a bankruptcy plan to put Stockton city retirees at the top of the heap. That means taxpayers are at the bottom. Also stiffed will be bondholders. That puts at risk other munic...