Pension Reform

CalPERS just called me

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

At 11:27 am, according to my cell, I got a call from CalPERS, the California Public Employees' Retirement System. At first I thought it was about some news story I had done. I've talked to them before. Then the woman started taking about a "survey." "This is a poll on CalPERS?" I asked. "Ye...

Why is CalSTRS’ version of corporate skulduggery tolerated?

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014
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Beginning in the late 1990s and for about a decade afterward, corporate accounting scandals unfolded one after the other. Bipartisan outrage over CEOs and CFOs cooking the books gave way to mostly Democratic initiatives to impose much more sweeping rules on the private sector. Some Republicans thoug...

Judge confirms the ‘California rule’: Pensions can only go up

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
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A state judge on Monday did a split-the-baby routine with San Jose's voter-approved pension-reform law: "SAN JOSE -- In a landmark ruling that could help shape city budgets around the state, a judge invalidated key parts of San Jose's voter-approved pension cuts but upheld other elements that could...

CalSTRS hearing underscores Mac Taylor’s destructive happy talk

Thursday, February 20th, 2014
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An Assembly committee hearing Wednesday on the immense underfunding problems facing the California State Teachers' Retirement System also illuminated another strange problem in Sacramento: the emergence of Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor as a civic arsonist. As John Myers reported, one of Taylor's...

CalPERS rate hike slams cities

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
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Californians are finding out how Gov. Jerry Brown is going to deal with the state's pension crisis: make the taxpayers pay for it. This from CalPensions: A divided CalPERS board yesterday approved a faster rate hike for the state urged by Gov. Brown, but opposed by unions. A proposal to give strugg...

Graphic shows pension reform ideas

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

The site Accounting Review has come up with a neat graphic that describes America's pension crisis, and some possible alternatives: Source: Accounting-Degree.org...

Latest scandal: Why you would be nuts to believe CalPERS

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

The Sacramento Bee has the basic details on a new CalPERS contretemps: "A former CalPERS employee who alleged she was fired for challenging a cover up of insider trades by fund staff settled her wrongful termination case this morning. "Jeannine Carter, who worked in a watchdog unit that makes sure...

Life expectancy gains: new front in CA pension funding woes

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Daniel Borenstein of the Bay Area Newspaper Group had a sharp column Sunday pointing out that delays in acknowledging gains in life expectancy added to the long-term funding problems faced by CalPERS. "The mortality issue exemplifies how CalPERS has set the rates it charges too low. Retirement syst...

San Diego's pension reform model finally inspires copy-cats

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

In early 2012, when then-San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio was pushing an innovative, unusual, unprecedented pension reform initiative in California's second-largest city, I wrote about it for City Journal. I thought it was a harbinger of what the future would hold for many of the governments ar...

Brown: No teachers' pension fix until after November election

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Gov. Jerry Brown has a basic problem when it comes to the California State Teachers' Retirement System: the most powerful forces in state politics oppose the standard fix for an underfunded pension system, even if it is now enshrined in state law. The Legislature sets the contribution rate...