Archive for the ‘ CalSTRS ’ Category

OCRegister: Public pensions: Good news, bad news

Pension Reform

Annual returns are looking good for many funds, but they are still in a big hole when it comes to being able to meet obligations.

By TERI SFORZA / STAFF COLUMNIST
Published: Aug. 3, 2014 Updated: 6:20 p.m.

Public investment types may be rubbing their hands together muttering, “money, money, money,” after stellar returns over the past year, but some have a lot more to crow about than others.

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Calpensions: Detroit-style pension cuts: could it happen here?

question-mark

By Ed Mendel
July 28, 2014

Bankrupt Detroit announced last week that current workers and retirees voted overwhelmingly to cut many pensions by 4.5 percent and to trim or eliminate cost-of-living adjustments.

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SacBee: CalPERS, CalSTRS report 18 percent profit on investments

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calstrs

By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Jul. 15, 2014 – 12:00 am
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jul. 15, 2014 – 12:13 am

Continuing to claw their way back from the 2008 market crash, California’s two giant public pension funds said Monday they each earned more than 18 percent on their investments in the just-ended fiscal year.

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Calpensions: Brown pension reform still has missing pieces

Pension Reform

By Ed Mendel
Monday, July 7, 2014

A bill that started out as Gov. Brown’s proposal to restructure the CalPERS board emerged from the Legislature last week as a more modest change: a requirement that CalPERS board members receive 24 hours of education in pension fund operations.

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LATimes: Teachers’ checks shrink a bit as California tackles pension shortfall

Calstrs

Chris Megerian
June 28, 2014

When fifth-grade teacher Maggie Ellis receives her next paycheck at the end of the month, it will be a bit lighter. That’s because she’ll be contributing more money to the teacher pension fund, a small part of a sweeping, long-term plan to repair one of the state’s most difficult financial problems.

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SacBee: Jerry Brown signs teacher pension fund bill

calstrs

Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
June 24, 2014

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Tuesday to begin paying down an estimated shortfall of more than $74 billion in the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, acting on the last of a raft of budget-related bills ahead of the July 1 start of the next fiscal year.

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Calpensions: CalSTRS gets $5 billion increase over seven years

Calstrs

By Ed Mendel
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Full funding of the troubled California State Teachers Retirement System was approved by the Legislature last weekend, with most of the additional $5 billion coming from school districts that get no offsetting money from the state.

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LATimes: Teacher pension fund investments could fall short, Brown says

Jerry Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown outlines his plan to fix the teacher pension fund’s $73.7- billion shortfall at a May 13 briefing. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Chris Megerian
May 21, 2014

When Gov. Jerry Brown released his plan for repairing California’s troubled teacher retirement system, his calculations assumed the pension fund would see investment returns of 7.5% over the next three decades.

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LATimes: Bailout for teachers’ pensions to cost California school districts

calstrs

Howard Blume, Chris Megerian
May 20, 2014

California’s public school districts could face difficult cutbacks if state officials move forward with a plan to bail out the retirement fund for teachers, officials and educators say, but even those painful steps may fall short of curing the pension deficit if investments don’t meet expectations.

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METRO

By Daniel Borenstein, staff columnist
Posted: 05/17/2014 09:00:00 AM PDT

Gov. Jerry Brown last week proposed the first substantive strategy to shore up the state’s woefully underfunded teacher pension plan.

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Calpensions: Brown CalSTRS plan: schools get biggest rate hike

Calstrs

By Ed Mendel
May 14, 2014

Gov. Brown yesterday made a long-delayed proposal to get CalSTRS to full funding over the next three decades, giving the biggest rate hike to schools and smaller increases to the state and teachers.

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Calpensions: CalSTRS members get $300 million from surplus

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By Ed Mendel
Monday, April 7, 2014

On a split vote, the CalSTRS board last week gave members in two unusual retirement accounts, which have a guaranteed minimum return, a $300 million credit from a surplus.

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Sacbee: CalSTRS says pension funding gap has grown to $73.7 billion

Calstrs

By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
Published: Thursday, Apr. 3, 2014 – 11:00 pm
Last Modified: Thursday, Apr. 3, 2014 – 11:12 pm

CalSTRS said Thursday that its long-term funding shortfall has risen to $73.7 billion, a stark reminder of the financial issues facing the teachers’ pension fund.

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SacBee: Dan Walters: California budget is balanced? Not by a long shot

Dan Walters

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Mar. 30, 2014 – 12:00 am
Last Modified: Sunday, Mar. 30, 2014 – 12:11 pm

One of the conceits of Capitol politicians – much on display during this election year – is that they finally balanced the state budget after years of deficits.

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Calpensions: CalSTRS rate hike: a start, full phase-in or delay?

calstrs

By Ed Mendel
March 24, 2014

The total spending increase needed to get CalSTRS, brought low by mismanagement, back to full funding may be the biggest-dollar scenarios ever presented to a California legislative committee.

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LATimes: Delays would mean bigger costs for shoring up teacher pension fund

Calstrs

By Chris Megerian
March 19, 2014, 2:17 p.m.

SACRAMENTO — The longer California’s leaders delay shoring up the cash-strapped teacher pension fund, the more money it will cost taxpayers in the long run, according to an analysis presented to lawmakers on Wednesday.

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SacBee: Huge CalSTRS funding hole grew for 10 years

Calstrs

By Ed Mendel
Monday, February 24, 2014

Getting CalSTRS back to full funding, if rates are steadily increased over the next half dozen years, would take an annual increase reaching more than $5 billion a year by 2020 — about what the state general fund currently spends on UC and CSU combined.

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KXTV: Almost $1 billion needed in 2015 to fix Calif. teachers pensions

Calstrs

John Myers
KXTV 2:37 p.m. EST February 19, 2014

State legislators are getting a cold dose of reality about California’s ailing pension fund for teachers: find a way to boost contributions by almost $1 billion in 2015 and $5 billion a year soon thereafter… or watch the system collapse by the time current teachers reach retirement.

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Photo: CalPERS board

The Governing Board of the California Public Employees Retirement System. (Calpers)

Article by: FENIT NIRAPPIL , Associated Press
Updated: February 16, 2014 – 10:50 AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A rift between Gov. Jerry Brown and the board overseeing the nation’s largest public pension fund over rising liabilities tied to longer retiree life expectancies highlights a concern about how decisions are made at an agency with tremendous influence over state finances.

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METRO

Daniel Borenstein

By Daniel Borenstein, Staff Columnist
Posted: 02/07/2014 12:00:00 PM PST
Updated: 02/09/2014 08:10:25 AM PST

Kudos to Gov. Jerry Brown for demanding last week that CalPERS stop kicking pension debt further down the road. Too bad he hasn’t applied the same standard to the CalSTRS shortfall.

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Calpensions: Faster rate hikes sought for CalPERS and CalSTRS

calpers

calstrs

By Ed Mendel
Thursday, February 6, 2014

Gov. Brown yesterday urged CalPERS to speed up a $1.2 billion rate increase needed because workers are living longer. Assembly Speaker John Perez said last week he wants to speed up a $4.5 billion CalSTRS rate hike plan, acting this year not next year as the governor suggested.

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SacBee: Assembly Democrats urge California teacher retirement fix

calstrs

Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
January 29, 2014

With California facing a massive teacher pension shortfall, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles, unveiled an effort Wednesday he hopes would fully fund the system.

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SacBee: CalSTRS reports 19.1 percent investment gain

calstrs

By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
Published: Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 – 6:42 pm

CalSTRS said Thursday it earned a hefty 19.1 percent return on its investments in 2013 but repeated its plea for funding assistance from the Legislature.

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SacBee: CalPERS reports higher investment gains

calpers

By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
Published: Monday, Jan. 13, 2014 – 11:35 pm

CalPERS reported its best annual investment gains in a decade Monday, a development that could alter the political climate as another fight looms over pension reform.

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AP: Gov. Brown vows to start debate over teacher pensions

calstrs

By Don Thompson, Associated Press
Posted: 01/12/2014 02:41:40 PM PST
Updated: 01/13/2014 06:09:14 AM PST

SACRAMENTO — In Gov. Jerry Brown’s promise to start paying off California’s massive liabilities, the largest single unfunded debt will not be seeing any additional pay-down in the coming fiscal year.

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By Ed Mendel
Monday, January 13, 2014

A new state budget Gov. Brown proposed last week does not have a long-sought rate hike for CalSTRS, which is projected to run out of money in three decades. But the budget does call for talks with teachers, schools and others to work out a rate-hike plan.

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SacBee: Lockyer: school pension plan implodes without fix

Bill Lockyer

Lockyer

The Associated Press
Published: Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 – 8:37 pm

LOS ANGELES — California Treasurer Bill Lockyer is warning that the state teacher retirement system is rapidly running out of money.

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Dan Walters

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013 – 12:00 am

Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez summoned reporters to the Capitol last week to unveil what he called a “blueprint for a responsible budget.”

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SacBee: JPMorgan settlement sends $300 million to CalPERS, CalSTRS

jpmorganchase2

Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
November 19, 2013

California’s retirement funds for teachers and state employees will receive nearly $300 million from a sweeping settlement between the Justice Department and financial titan JPMorgan.

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Calpensions: CalSTRS debt soars under new accounting rules

calstrs

By Ed Mendel
Monday, September 16, 2013

New government accounting rules will more than double the pension debt reported by CalSTRS, boosting an “unfunded liability” that is now about $71 billion to a newly calculated “Net Pension Liability” of $166.9 billion.

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Calpensions: CalPERS pushed to invest through minority firms

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By Ed Mendel
Monday, August 26, 2013

CalPERS is not investing enough money through minority-owned firms, two trade associations and several money managers say, and some want a legislative audit of “unfair” decisions, particularly for lucrative private equity funds.

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InlandPolitics: This and That!

Edit

Sunday, July 21, 2013 – 11:00 a.m.

Here’s some news flowing across the transom last week. In cased you missed it!

Detroit files bankruptcy

Yes, this time it’s Detriot. That’s a city located in the state of Michigan. For those that didn’t know!

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SacBee: CalSTRS flexes its muscles as a shareholder

calstrs

By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, May. 26, 2013 – 12:00 am | Page 1D

CalSTRS has been making waves on Wall Street lately, taking a more aggressive stance with corporations while grabbing a bit of the spotlight from its big brother CalPERS.

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SacBee: Dan Walters: California could owe $1 trillion

Dan Walters

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, May. 12, 2013 – 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Sunday, May. 12, 2013 – 7:33 am

There’s absolutely nothing wrong, per se, with incurring debt, whether it’s by families, businesses or governments. A functional credit market is absolutely vital to a modern economy.

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SacBee: Dan Walters: California Legislature ignoring teacher pension gap

Dan Walters

Dan Walters

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com
Published: Sunday, Apr. 28, 2013 – 12:00 am | Page 3A
Last Modified: Sunday, Apr. 28, 2013 – 7:25 am

David Crane, a businessman who advised former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on financial matters – particularly long-term public pension deficits – recently wrote an I-told-you-so piece for the Bloomberg news service about the State Teachers Retirement System.

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Calpensions: CalSTRS benefit hikes big part of pension debt

calstrs

By Ed Mendel
Monday, April 15, 2013

If not for pension and benefit increases as the stock market boomed more than a decade ago, CalSTRS would be one of the nation’s best-funded large retirement systems with 88 percent of the assets needed to pay promised pensions.

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SacBee: Legislators urged to deal now with $73 billion CalSTRS shortfall

calstrs

By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
Published: Thursday, Mar. 21, 2013 – 12:00 am
Last Modified: Thursday, Mar. 21, 2013 – 7:48 am

Lawmakers began confronting a multibillion-dollar budget headache Wednesday that’s been looming for years: the funding gap at the state teachers’ pension fund.

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Calpensions: Post-crisis reforms make pensions sustainable?

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By Ed Mendel
Monday, March 11, 2013

A nationwide study, including CalPERS and CalSTRS, projects that huge pension fund losses during the financial crisis will be offset over three decades by a wave of recently enacted cost-cutting reforms — but only if several things happen.

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CapitolWeekly: Historic maneuvers haunt CalSTRS

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By Ed Mendel | 02/18/13 12:00 AM PST

Some still have hard feelings about what happened when CalSTRS, now deep in the red, had a brief funding surplus more than a decade ago: Teacher and state payments into the fund were cut, and retirement benefits were raised.

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Smoke and Mirrors

By Daniel Borenstein, Staff columnist
Posted: 02/08/2013 12:00:00 PM PST
Updated: 02/09/2013 05:49:07 PM PST

Gov. Jerry Brown’s claim that he balanced his proposed 2013-14 budget ignores that he’s driving the state teacher pension system deeper into debt by shortchanging it at least $4.5 billion.

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SacBee: CalSTRS records strong 2012 – but problems persist

calstrs

By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
Published: Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 – 12:00 am | Page 6B

CalSTRS reported higher investment returns this week, but the teachers’ pension system continues to grapple with an enormous long-term funding shortfall.

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SacBee: California teachers pension fund faces $64 billion deficit

calstrs

Capitol Alert
The latest on California politics and government
February 4, 2013

The trust fund that provides pensions to retired teachers has a $64 billion deficit and would need a $4.5 billion per year infusion of revenue to become fully solvent, according to a new internal study.

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Calpensions: CalSTRS: $4.5 billion rate hike for full funding

calstrs

By Ed Mendel
Monday, Fenruary 4, 2013

A new report says CalSTRS needs $4.5 billion more a year to fully fund pensions over the next three decades, a 75 percent increase in the $6 billion total annual payments now being made by teachers, school districts and the state.

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SacBee: The State Worker: California pension funds walk a tightrope on investments

By Jon Ortiz
jortiz@sacbee.com
Published: Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

We expect government transparency. Wall Street loves the backroom deal.

On ever-shifting ground between them you’ll find public pension funds, unique government organs that pump hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars into private investments.

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LATimes: California teachers pension fund tied to gun maker by investment

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PolitiCal
On politics in the Golden State
December 17, 2012 | 4:58 pm

BushmasterAn investment made by the California teachers pension fund is coming under scrutiny because of its link to the manufacturer of the assault rifle used in the Connecticut elementary school massacre.

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Calpensions: Pension reform: CalSTRS gets hope, CSU low rate

By Ed Mendel
Monday, September 17, 2012

What CalSTRS regards as its “most significant reform issue” was not in the pension reform bill signed by Gov. Brown last week. But a long-sought first step toward closing a huge gap in the teachers’ pension fund is in a companion measure.

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Calpensions: Pension reform savings: $40 billion to $60 billion

By Ed Mendel
Thursday, August 31, 2012

A pension reform plan worked out by Gov. Brown and Democratic legislators could save state and local government employers $40 billion to $60 billion over the next 30 years.

The preliminary CalPERS estimate, which will be refined before the Legislature votes on the plan Friday, expects most savings to come from two cost-cutting strategies used in labor negotiations: lower benefits for new hires and higher employee contributions.

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Calpensions: Legal pension hikes: air time, golden handshake

By Ed Mendel
Monday, August 13, 2012

If the Legislature attempts pension reform this month, one of the targets may be “air time,” a decade-old policy that allows CalPERS and CalSTRS members to boost their pensions by buying up to five years of additional service credit.

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Calpensions: Are public pensions following IRS tax-delay rules?

By Ed Mendel
Monday, July 30, 2012

The IRS is taking a new look at whether public pension systems qualify for tax deferrals, raising questions about nonprofit charter schools in CalSTRS and county systems using “excess” earnings to fund retiree health care.

Taxes on employer-employee contributions to pension systems and their investment earnings can be avoided until retirees are paid. But if the rules are not followed, the IRS can change the tax status and impose fines and penalties.

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LATimes: Pension funds seriously underfunded, studies find

Gov. Jerry Brown outlines proposals to roll back public employee pension benefits during a news conference at the Capitol in October. (Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press / July 17, 2012)

 

By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
July 17, 2012, 7:00 p.m.

SACRAMENTO — Corporate and public pension funds across the country are seriously underfunded, threatening the retirement security of workers and straining the financial health of state and local governments, according to a pair of independent studies.

In 2011, company pensions and related benefits were underfunded by an estimated $578 billion, meaning they only had 70.5% of the money needed to meet retirement obligations, according to a report by S&P Dow Jones Indices.

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Calpensions: GASB pension rules: sticker shock less likely

By Ed Mendel
Monday, May 29, 2012

New public pension accounting rules scheduled to be issued next month, once expected by some to reveal massive hidden debt, now seem less likely to trigger a shake-up and are even getting applause from pension officials.

Under the new rules, experts say, most California pension systems will make little if any use of a lower “risk-free” government bond-based earnings forecast, currently about 4 percent, that causes debt to soar.

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Calpensions: Elected official pensions: target for reform?

By Ed Mendel
Monday, April 30, 2012

Stockton has enrolled three mayors and 14 city council members in CalPERS since 1991, despite a provision in the city charter that clearly states no council member shall receive retirement or death benefits, the Stockton Record reported last week.

The discovery of $276,954 in unlawful city pension contributions comes as Stockton is in the national media spotlight during a last-ditch attempt to avoid bankruptcy, mainly by getting unions to agree to cuts in retirement and other costs.

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Calpensions: CalSTRS: on the road to ruin or recovery?

By Ed Mendel
Monday, April 23, 2012

An annual look at CalSTRS, the nation’s second largest public pension system, once again raises the question of whether there is an urgent need to begin putting more money into the pension fund.

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Calpensions: Century-old CalSTRS faces lengthy funding gap

By Ed Mendel
Thursday, March 29, 2012

After a decade of similar below-target investment earnings, punctuated by huge losses during the stock market crash in 2008, the nation’s two largest public pension funds are looking at different futures.

The California Public Employees Retirement System, putting a new focus on risk, worries about another recession dropping pension funding levels to 40 percent or below, a “warning track” zone that could make it difficult to get back to full funding in the future.

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SacBee: CalSTRS’ gap rises as return forecast falls

By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
Published: Friday, Feb. 3, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 6B

By lowering its investment forecast by another quarter point, CalSTRS made a bow toward economic reality – but also may have complicated efforts to shore up its finances.

The teachers’ retirement board agreed Thursday to reduce CalSTRS’ official investment forecast to 7.5 percent, down from 7.75 percent. It was the second cut in 14 months, after the $144 billion fund left the forecast untouched for 15 years.

In a volatile investment climate, following a year in which CalSTRS’ portfolio earned just 2.3 percent, board members took their consultants’ advice and went with the lower number.

“I think it’s best that we be conservative,” said Terry McGuire, representing board member and state Controller John Chiang.

The board of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System voted 9-1 to reduce the forecast. The lone dissent came from Pedro Reyes of the Department of Finance. The higher forecast “is not unreasonable,” he argued. “Let’s stay where we are right now, (and) visit this in another year.”

By cutting investment projections, the board instantly ballooned CalSTRS’ funding gap – the estimated shortfall of assets available to meet the pension fund’s long-term needs. The gap will grow by nearly $6 billion, or roughly 10 percent.

That could create problems in the Legislature, which must OK changes in how CalSTRS is funded.

CalSTRS gets around $5.6 billion a year from the state, school districts and teachers. The pension fund had already calculated that it needed another $4 billion a year to eventually get healthy. With the lower investment forecast, those needs grow by another $500 million a year.

While CalSTRS is pushing for more money, many Republicans want to erase funding shortfalls for public pensions by reducing benefits. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown wants to give newly hired employees a combination traditional pension and a 401(k)-style program.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/03/4235828/calstrs-gap-rises-as-return-forecast.html#mi_rss=Business#storylink=cpy

By Jon Ortiz
jortiz@sacbee.com
Published: Friday, Feb. 3, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

Gov. Jerry Brown laid out a detailed plan to alter California’s state and local public retirement systems on Thursday – and immediately drew fire from his core labor constituency.

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SacBee: CalSTRS may cut forecast again

By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012 – 12:00 am | Page 6B

CalSTRS is thinking of cutting its investment forecast for the second time in barely a year, a move that acknowledges the increased financial strain on the pension fund.

The teachers’ retirement board on Thursday will consider a recommendation from its actuarial consultant to cut the forecast by a quarter point, to 7.5 percent.

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Calpensions: Pension earnings dip amid gloomy forecasts

Monday, January 30, 2012
By Ed Mendel

The nation’s two largest public pension funds last week reported slim annual investment earnings, CalPERS 1.1 percent and CalSTRS 2.3 percent, as experts continue to say hitting their long-term earnings target, 7.75 percent, will be difficult.

While CalPERS reported weak earnings in 2011, a prominent private-sector investment manager, Robert Arnott of Research Affiliates, told the board last week he thinks the most they can expect from stocks and bonds next decade is 4 percent.

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Calpensions: Pension fund big earner becomes political issue

By Ed Mendel
Monday,January 16, 2012

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is putting the spotlight on private equity, which public pension funds such as CalPERS and CalSTRS helped flourish and now need for better-than-average earnings.

Romney became wealthy while leading Bain Capital, a private equity firm he said created “tens of thousands of jobs” by buying and then selling troubled or stagnant companies after making them efficient, better managed and able to grow and prosper.

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SacBee: Stanford study pegs California pensions’ shortfall at $500 billion

The State Worker
Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers
December 13, 2011

California’s three largest pension systems have promised $500 billion beyond their current ability to make those payments to retirees, according to a study released to today by Stanford University Professor and former Democratic Assemblyman Joe Nation and a student researcher.

The Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research issued the report, documenting what it claims is the state’s deepening pension crisis. California Common Sense, an organization dedicated to engaging the public in “data-driven discourse” is also behind the report.

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LATimes: State pension systems see potential obstacles in Brown’s reform plan

November 30, 2011 | 4:57 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to overhaul public pensions in California may face legal hurdles and create some new costs, according to officials with the state’s two largest public retirement systems.

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Thursday, December 1, 1011
By Ed Mendel

Gov. Brown yesterday appointed two CalSTRS board members with decades of experience in law and financial firms, a first step toward an ambitious pension reform plan he issued in October to end abuses and cut costs.

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InlandPolitics: Markets, economy pressuring government pension funds

Monday, November 20, 2011 – 11:00 a.m.

One things for certain.

The sluggish stock market and record low interest rates has been and will continue to be a bad recipe for California government pension funds.

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Calpensions: PERS & STRS: report corporate political funds

By Ed Mendel
Monday,November 20, 2011

The nation’s two largest public pension funds will urge corporate boards to disclose political campaign contributions, a response to a court decision lifting the lid on some donations that do not have to be reported.

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LATimes: Brown’s pension overhaul plan draws praise, doubt from analyst

California Governor Jerry Brown holds a press conference in his Los Angeles office. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times / June 16, 2011)

By Anthony York, Los Angeles Times
November 9, 2011

Reporting from Sacramento— Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to alter public pension benefits is courageous but legally dicey, and key pieces of it have not been fully developed, according to a new report from California’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office.

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Calpensions: Brown pension board push: five CalSTRS openings

Monday, November 7, 2011
By Ed Mendel

A pension reform plan issued by Gov. Brown last month calls for more “independence and financial sophistication” on pension boards. Now he will soon have five openings to fill on the 12-member CalSTRS board.

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Calpensions: CalPERS & CalSTRS: cracking down on ‘spiking’

Thursday, October 20, 2011
By Ed Mendel

In a settlement of a wrongful firing, a suburban San Diego water district agreed six years later to put its former general counsel back on the payroll for one year at $222,000, with a leave of absence that left him free to take another job.

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By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011 – 7:55 am

California’s big public pension funds are already short tens of billions of dollars. An organization of accountants is about to make the picture look even worse.

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Calpensions: CalPERS & CalSTRS: delay new accounting rules

Monday, October 17, 2011
By Ed Mendel

SAN FRANCISCO — The nation’s two largest public pension systems last week asked for a delay in new accounting rules that will make pension debt more visible, a change intended to aid decision-makers that some think may alarm the public.

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Calpensions: School pensions: an argument for not bargaining?

Monday, October 3, 2011
By Ed Mendel

As state and local governments in California face soaring public pension costs, unions insist that cost-cutting changes must be bargained, not imposed by legislation.

But there is one major exception: schools.

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Calpensions: Counties losing fight to conceal pension amounts

Monday, September 19, 2011
By Ed Mendel

SANTA ROSA — The Sonoma County retirement board voted last week to release retiree names and their pension amounts, becoming the latest loser in seven separate superior court decisions since 2009 upheld by three different appeals courts.

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SacBee: Auditor calls CalSTRS a ‘high risk’ problem for state

By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
Published: Friday, Aug. 19, 2011 – 12:00 am | Page 6B

CalSTRS, billions of dollars under water, was dubbed a “high risk” problem for California by the state auditor Thursday.

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LATimes: CalSTRS lobbies for gradual increase to underfunded pension

Money & Company
Tracking the market and economic trends that shape your finances.
August 16, 2011 | 4:12 pm

A plan by the giant state teachers’ pension fund to ask the Legislature and governor this year to boost their financial support has been sidetracked by California’s continuing budget shortfall.

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CaliforniaWatch: Teachers want changes in bill to limit public employee pensions

Daily Report: K–12
August 4, 2011 | Joshua Emerson Smith

The California Teachers Association and California State Teachers’ Retirement System are opposing a bill that would limit pension “spiking,” the practice of boosting salaries right before retirement to increase pension payouts.

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SacBee: LAO: Investing more pension funds in state won’t boost economy

The State Worker
Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers
August 1, 2011

A proposed initiative that would require the state’s public sector pension systems to maintain at least 85 percent of their investments in California-based businesses would weaken returns and fail to spur significant economic activity in the state, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

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Calpensions: Pension sticker shock? Actuaries say maybe not

Monday, August 1, 2011
By Ed Mendel

New public pension accounting rules will not change how rates paid by state and local governments are set. But how the public and lawmakers will react to a new way of reporting pension costs is less clear.

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Bloomberg: Calif. Pension Funds Gain Most in Decade

By Michael B. Marois – Jul 18, 2011 11:18 AM PT

The nation’s two largest public pension systems reported returns topping 20 percent for the year ended June 30, their best in more than a decade as the California funds profited from stocks and private equity.

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By Dale Kasler
dkasler@sacbee.com
Published: Tuesday, Jul. 12, 2011 – 12:00 am | Page 6B

California’s two public pension funds are starting to make some money in real estate after several years of hard knocks.

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Calpensions: Public pension debt: How big is it?

Monday, June 27, 2011
By Ed Mendel

While not complying with an apparently flawed state law, CalPERS is opposing a similar federal bill calling for a report showing how pension debt could soar if long-term investment earnings are well below average.

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Calpensions: CalSTRS surprise: It’s a pension/401(k) ‘hybrid’

Monday, June 6, 2011
By Ed Mendel

Under little-noticed legislation a decade ago, the nation’s second largest public pension fund, CalSTRS, became what is now advocated by several reformers — a “hybrid” combining pensions with a 401(k)-style individual investment plan.

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SacBee: Dan Walters: Real data needed for California pension reform

Walters

 

By Dan Walters
dwalters@sacbee.com The Sacramento Bee
Published: Sunday, Jun. 5, 2011 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

The pensions received by California’s public employees have erupted into a very hot political issue, so hot that it has become one of the key issues in the state budget stalemate.

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SacBee: Bill to curb pension-spiking and double-dipping moves forward

The State Worker
Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers
June 1, 2011

The Senate today passed without objection a bill aimed at blocking public employees from spiking their pensions and restricting double-dipping after retirement.

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SacBee: California state salary freeze bill hits dead end — again

The State Worker
Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers
May 27, 2011

A bill that would freeze pay for the highest-paid state workers stalled today in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, effectively killing it.

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VenturaStar: Pension study: Teachers’ benefits are modest

By Tim Herdt
Ventura County Star
Posted May 6, 2011 at 7:55 p.m., updated May 6, 2011 at 9:33 p.m.

SACRAMENTO — An economic research firm hired to produce data that could justify an expected initiative campaign to scale back public-employee pensions uncovered what its authors called a surprising finding in its report issued this week: Teachers receive relatively modest pensions and contribute a sizable chunk of their earnings to fund their retirement benefits.

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LATimes: Proposals would cut benefits for California employees 25% to 40%

In an analysis of two concepts, the nonprofit California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility warns that the state’s five biggest pension funds are in precarious financial conditions.

By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
May 5, 2011

Reporting from Sacramento— Pension benefits for hundreds of thousands of state workers would be reduced 25% to 40% under two proposals that have become the focal points for what could become a costly and bruising ballot fight over retirement funding.

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