A Tale of Two Cities and Blocked Pension Reforms

Publisher, CalPensions.com

A San Diego city attorney urged an appeals court last week to order talks with unions on repaying 4,000 employees for pensions illegally replaced by 401(k)-style plans under an initiative, a cost some estimate could reach $100 million. If the talks result in agreement, the city attorney suggested the pact could go back to voters […]

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New pension-cut rulings begin with little change

Publisher, CalPensions.com

Voter-approved pension cuts were the first wave of court cases after public pension investment funds had huge losses in a stock market crash a decade ago, creating the need for big bites out of government budgets to pay alarming debt. Ballot measures in cities large and small were overturned by the courts, from a blunt-force […]

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High Court to Hear Brown Pension Reform Dec. 5

Publisher, CalPensions.com

As he requested, Gov. Brown will get a chance before leaving office to defend a public employee union challenge to his pension reform that some think could result in a ruling allowing pension cuts. The state Supreme Court yesterday announced oral arguments scheduled Dec. 5 in Los Angeles on a firefighter appeal to allow employees […]

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Cities look at tax hikes to pay rising pension costs

Publisher, CalPensions.com

El Segundo and Arcadia were among two dozen cities urging the CalPERS board last month to avoid another employer rate increase, the fifth in the last five years, when adjusting its $344 billion investment portfolio this month. Last week, the two well-funded cities, both with currently balanced budgets and high service levels, considered sales tax […]

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In birth of new state program, what’s in a name?

Publisher, CalPensions.com

It’s time to bring in some “Mad Men,” like those vintage Madison Avenue advertising professionals in the critically acclaimed television show, and run the name of a new state retirement savings plan up the flagpole and see who salutes. The current name, Secure Choice, doesn’t say much about a big new program that in five years could […]

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CalPERS State Rate Doubles in Decade to $6 Billion

Publisher, CalPensions.com

The annual cost of state worker pensions would increase to $6 billion in July in a recommendation from CalPERS actuaries, up $521 million from the current fiscal year and double the amount paid a decade ago. School districts would pay $2 billion next year for the pensions of non-teaching employees, up $342 million from the […]

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Court Pension Decision Weakens ‘California Rule’

Publisher, CalPensions.com

The one thing some pension reformers say is needed to cut the cost of unaffordable public pensions: give current workers a less costly retirement benefit for work done in the future, while protecting pension amounts already earned. It’s allowed in the remaining private-sector pensions. But California is one of about a dozen states that have […]

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California Pensions Take Above-Average Tax Bite

Publisher, CalPensions.com

California pension funds take a bigger share of tax revenue than the national state average, a research website shows. Why the growing costs are outpacing the norm is not completely clear. A prime suspect for some would be overly generous pensions, particularly what critics say is an “unsustainable” increase for police and firefighters widely adopted […]

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School Districts Begin Reporting Pension Debt

Publisher, CalPensions.com

The latest financial statements of the state’s fifth largest school district, Elk Grove Unified, list a pension debt of $414.6 million, up from no pension debt in the statement for the previous year. How did the debt go from zero to hundreds of millions in a year? As you might guess, it didn’t. The change […]

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Private Firms Offer To Run State Retirement Plan

Publisher, CalPensions.com

A board working on a proposal to enroll most small business employees in a state-run retirement savings plan, unless they opt out, was told last week that small technology-focused financial firms could do the job. The founders of three firms that offer 401(k)s and other retirement plans to small businesses did not object to competition […]

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