CalPERS just called me

CalPERS just called me

Calpers logoAt 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.


I thought about taking it, just to see where it went. Usually I don’t take surveys. Sometimes I do just to find out what’s happening. When I do the latter, if it’s on politics, they usually ask if I work for the media, which disqualifies me from their great honor.

“OK,” I said.

“It will only take up to 20 minutes, maybe less.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t have that much time. Goodbye.”

I wish I also had said, “Because I’m working to pay for CalPERS.”

It’s curious that CalPERS is conducting a survey like this. Clearly, they are worried about public opinion. They’re still fighting to get payments owed by bankrupt San Bernardino. The city insists that the payments are the same as any other debt and must be the part of any settlement by the federal bankruptcy judge.

CalPERS realizes that more municipal bankruptcies likely are on the way. And it wants to know where it needs to spruce up its image.

But no surveys and no potential change in public opinion can change the actuarial reality that its funding level remains well below what’s needed to meet its obligations.


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  1. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 6 March, 2014, 12:11

    How do you know what the CalPERS survey was about, John, since you decided not to take it?

    Reply this comment
  2. Ted Steele, Manager
    Ted Steele, Manager 6 March, 2014, 13:45

    How do you know it wasnt a prank by any one of many usual suspects?

    Reply this comment
  3. Ted Steele, Manager
    Ted Steele, Manager 6 March, 2014, 13:45

    Why is the gunment still not telling the truth about Roswell ™ ?

    Reply this comment
  4. bunkerqueen
    bunkerqueen 6 March, 2014, 16:44

    Hi Tardsly…..!

    Reply this comment
  5. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 6 March, 2014, 18:46

    Whenever I agree to take a public opinion survey, the questioner usually cancels any further questioning as soon as he/she learns my age. In the future, I will refuse to give my age, and they can take it or leave it. As far as CalPERS calling you, Mr. Seiler, to take a survey–that sounds mighty suspicious.

    Reply this comment
  6. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 6 March, 2014, 18:52

    48% funded!

    Reply this comment
  7. Queeg
    Queeg 7 March, 2014, 07:10

    They callled Uhaul…..he was so shocked.

    Twenty minutes about education or something.

    The voice on phone sounded down trodden like no one wanted twenty minutes on the phone.

    Uhaul hung up and just flipped his hand at me. Pavlov for go load up another doomer for the final ride to Needles!

    Reply this comment
  8. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 7 March, 2014, 12:10

    Right now CalPERS’ assets are only greater or equal to its 60% of its liabilities, says Nation.

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Reply this comment
  9. Juun Hu
    Juun Hu 7 March, 2014, 13:39

    As a concerned citizen I would like to ask just one question of the persons that believe the current CalPERS/Torrance pension framework is not forcing our children into indentured servitude – How does any of your comments have any relevance to the mathematical facts as they relate to the CalPERS/Torrance pension system that is driving this state and our City to bankruptcy.

    CalPERS pension funds were ~128% funded in 1999. Torrance’s were ~110% funded in 2003.

    CalPERS increased its Annual Pension Contributions (APCO) from 1999 to 2013 by ~1900% or from ~$400M to almost $8B.

    Torrance increased its APCO from 2004 to 2014 by ~133% or from ~$16.8M to ~$39.2M

    CalPERS was funded at ~128% in 1999 as of 2012 it has a ~$125B pension debt conservatively.

    Torrance’s pensions were funded at ~110% in 2003 – in 2012 we have ~$400M of pension debt – likely to be ~$800M in 2015 after Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) 68 is applied.

    CalPERS and Torrance have accrued this massive pension debt even after exceeding CalPERS MIN Return on Investment (ROI) requirements by 1.4-1.75% each year for the last thirty years.

    CalPERS own actuaries have stated even after the upcoming 60 -70% raise in pension contributions, even after a 3.5% increase in salaries every year for the next thirty (30) years, even after the stock market doubling every 9.5 years for the next 30 years there is still a 48% probability CalPERS will be $100,000 ($100K). Annual Pension Contribution includes Pension, Employer Paid Member Contribution (EPMC) and Deferred Compensation contributions – the average of these 12 is ~ $113K.

    Seven Safety Officer’s pension contributions in 2011 were the 16th, 22nd, 32nd, 35th, 36th, 48th, and 60th highest pension contributions out of ~1.2M CalPERS members.

    Torrance’s Police Chief’s Annual Pension Contribution (APCO) in 2011 was the 16th highest APCO out of ~1.2 million (1.2M) CalPERS members.

    A Torrance Fire Dept. (TFD) retiree’s annual pension for 30 YRS of service is $129,000 and for the Torrance Police Dept. (TPD) retiree it is ~$100K as of 30 June 2007 – seven years ago.

    As of Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Torrance’s average salary cost for the miscellaneous employees will be ~$100,000 per employee.

    CalPERS’s own actuaries have proven statistically in Feb 2012 that Public Agency safety employees have been overpaid by 3.25-3.71% every year for the last ten years when compared to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, CPI-U indexes (indexes that assess all items). As for Agency Miscellaneous employees they have been overpaid by 2.24% every year for the last ten years also.

    Their direct quote is: “Based on our experience working with other large public retirement systems that also cover public safety employees, public safety employees have generally benefited from above average across-the-board increases in compensation during the last decade.”

    (See pg 12 (15 of 19 pdf) Section III Wage Inflation Analysis from CalPERS Economic Assumption Study dtd FEBRUARY 2012 by Gabriel Roder & Smith (GRS) Company (Consultants and Actuaries for CalPERS) Agenda 4 Att. #1 to verify the above statements about CalPERS employees receiving wages greater than the CPI during the last 10 years–Study data that lowered CalPERS discount rate from 7.75-7.5%.)

    CalPERS own actuaries state the recent pension changes after 30 years will only reduce large Agency APCOs (read Torrance’s pension system) by ~$1.1M each year – (Per Attachment 1 – Page 2 of 2 (pg 11 of 19) Local Agency Table in CalPERS ACTUARIAL COST ANALYSIS – Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 document – dtd 31 Aug 2012.). (The Public Employee Retirement Pension Act (PEPRA) was enacted on 1 Jan 2013.)

    For those of you that continually state that since the employees will be paying part of their pension costs everything is solved should know that CalPERS own actuaries have already refuted that trick.

    “We have estimated that, if all current local agency member start paying at least 50% of the plan normal cost (but no more than the 8% and 12% of member contribution rate maximum) in 2018, the savings over the next 30 years would amount to about $1.9 Billion.” (3rd para 4th sentence on pg 8 CalPERS ACTUARIAL COST ANALYSIS California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 document dtd 31 August 2012).

    If you can provide a mathematical algorithm that proves your perspective that the current CalPERS or our Torrance pension framework is not bankrupting our State and City, astute citizens would be more than willing to assess your contribution in a more favorable manner at this time your contribution can only be categorized as an opinion and not an assertion of facts.

    Oh BTW – just on the prima facie fact that CalPERS/Torrance’s pension funds Return on Investment (ROI) has been above its minimum ROI for the last thirty years yet it is so severely underfunded that they have raised contributions again by more than 60 -70% within the last nine months for the next 25 YRS reflects that your astute analysis should be assessed as a biased opinion and not as fact based evidence.

    Every single fact stated above is validated by CalPERS, CA State government or City of Torrance official documents or reports at

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 9 March, 2014, 14:31

      Juun Hu, I understand your frustration, and as another that uses math to determine where Calpers is heading, I know that $100,000 pensions are unsustainable, but the fools that work in the RAGWUS live in a fantasy world and are unfazed by truth and common sense. 🙂

      Reply this comment
    • Ted Steele, CEO
      Ted Steele, CEO 10 March, 2014, 05:55

      Juun— Is it fun making up the figures?

      Reply this comment
  10. Captain
    Captain 7 March, 2014, 18:11

    Juun Hu, don’t expect anything from CalPERS other than BS. This organization is CULTUARALLY CORRUPT. The CalPERS Board of Administration is run: by the unions, for the unions, to the detriment of taxpayers, city services, and city infrastructure. The origin of ever increasing pension obligations, health care obligations, and increases in every fee imaginable – and the constant barage of parcel taxes, utility taxes and debt producing bonds – can be traced back to pension & healthcare obligations (debt) owed to our public servants.

    While not all the problems can be traced back to CalPERS – the Unions have undue influence over City Council Members, County Supervisors, and our State Legislatures that approve their unsustainable contracts. They also have undue influence over CalPERS and CalSTRS, and every County pension plan in the state. CalPERS is the most CORRUPT organization of them all; they provide both the Political Cover and Financial Muscle the unions needed to fleece this state, and especially our cities.

    CalPERS is CORRUPT and their union elected BOARD of ADMINISTRATION is a complete joke! The CalPERS BOARD that is gambling/making decisions with tax payer funds isn’t/aren’t qualified to manage their own individual investment accounts. Yet somehow this state, and Gov. Jerry Brown (even though he identified the CalPERS Board as a problem), and CalPERS continue to let this sharade of allowing hapless individuals dictate CalPERS policy. Taxpayers pay for every single one of their mistakes – and fraudulent actions. The CalPERS BOARD IS A COMPLETE FRAUD.

    The CalPERS organization is CULTUARALLY CORRUPT (PERIOD)_

    Reply this comment
  11. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 7 March, 2014, 21:12

    This broke departed El Collapso’ s Byzantine tomes……congratulations.

    Reply this comment
  12. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 8 March, 2014, 09:43

    I miss El Collapso.

    Reply this comment
  13. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 9 March, 2014, 09:18

    Well Ted, I hope nothing has happened to “Callapso”.

    Captain, it sounds like you need a support group to get all this out of your system. Do you log on to the live Board meetings? Do you attend the Board Meetings? The way I see it, these people are in charge of something very big and important. I don’t know what you mean by culturally corrupt. I have read the resumes of the respective Board members–all impressive. There are only three of the 12 who come from labor unions. There are no labor unions in the Board room of CalPERS.

    Reply this comment
  14. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 9 March, 2014, 10:46

    Don’t miss El Collapso.

    He was searching for something on CWD.

    We ain’t enablers here.

    We are independent thinkers not Kool Aid Doomers!!

    Fair and Balanced!

    Reply this comment
  15. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 9 March, 2014, 12:52

    I meant I hope he isn’t sick or dead.

    Reply this comment
    • Ted Steele, CEO
      Ted Steele, CEO 10 March, 2014, 05:57

      I hope not too– my guess is that he is taking a stress break– this stuff raps alot of these guys waaaaay up.

      Reply this comment
  16. Donkey
    Donkey 9 March, 2014, 14:47

    Jon, you should have flat out told them that they were RAGWUS feeding parasites, and they would soon be running on empty.

    You do know that the polls they are taking shows those of us that are informed, are having an impact on this thieving slimy cabal of crooks. The truth is slowly getting out to the younger taxpayers that can’t find a $30 an hour job outside of the RAGWUS pen. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  17. Queeg
    Queeg 10 March, 2014, 06:23


    Remember that wild man CWD had to ban forever.? His spittle must have been toxic or something. Whew!

    Maybe Collapso took up too much bandwidth or something?

    I was getting carpal tunnel scrolling down the pages and pages of tears and jeers posts…..

    Reply this comment
    • Ted Steele, Manager
      Ted Steele, Manager 10 March, 2014, 14:25

      LOL YES Queeg– I do remember the man “who was banned forever whose name shall not be said aloud”. His rant spittle was epic, not just in volume but in velocity. I hope El Collapso has not been suffocated in another bunker collapse.

      Reply this comment
  18. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 10 March, 2014, 19:40

    That would have been the third member of the original Tres Pendejos – the inimitable OcObserver. Posting with his sidekicks Donkey and Rex the Dunder Dog, he finally went so berserk that even CWD and the Voice of OC cut off his privileges.

    Reply this comment
    • Ted Steele, CEO
      Ted Steele, CEO 11 March, 2014, 06:53


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      • Ted Steele, Manager
        Ted Steele, Manager 13 March, 2014, 13:21

        284.6 BILLION as of today!

        We’re dooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooomed!

        Reply this comment
        • Donkey
          Donkey 13 March, 2014, 13:55

          Wont last three years in another five TCS, you are doomed!! 🙂

          Reply this comment
          • SkippingDog
            SkippingDog 13 March, 2014, 15:01

            That’s the same kind of goofy prophesy old OcObserver used to make each day. Is that you, OC?

          • Ted Steele, Manager
            Ted Steele, Manager 14 March, 2014, 08:43

            LMAO– I knew I could force her to make another of her famous predictions! OK— You heard it here—– Calpers broke in 3 years—- I am making an outlook entry for 3-17. This is just too easy!! ™

          • Donkey
            Donkey 20 March, 2014, 09:46

            That’s a total of eight years my half-witted dolt!! 🙂

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