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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How To Leave CalPERS Without Paying Huge Fee

Publisher, CalPensions.com

It may surprise cities that did not switch new hires to 401(k)-style plans because of huge CalPERS termination fees, not to mention the authors of a proposed initiative giving voters power over pensions. But a CalPERS white paper that surfaced last week describes a “soft freeze” of pension plans that switches new hires to a 401(k)-style investment […]

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Pension Initiative Has ‘Significant’ Savings, Costs

Publisher, CalPensions.com

The official analysis of a proposed public pension initiative issued last week said “likely large savings” in retirement benefits would be offset by pressure for higher pay and other costs. But the analysis does not estimate whether it would be a net gain or loss for government employers. The initiative would open the door for what supporters […]

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Unions Say Initiative Allows Future Pension Cuts

Publisher, CalPensions.com

A union coalition contends that a proposed initiative is being falsely portrayed as only a potential cut in pensions for new employees, when in fact it could cut or eliminate pensions earned by current employees for work done in the future. One of the initiative authors, former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, disagrees with the […]

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LAO: Consider Phasing Out Retiree Health Care

Publisher, CalPensions.com

Gov. Brown’s plan to curb the long-ignored debt for state worker retiree health care, now much larger than their unfunded pension debt, may look familiar. It’s similar to the standard state and local government pension reform. Workers contribute more, most going from zero to 3 percent of pay, and new hires not protected by vested […]

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Brown Plan May Cut State Retiree Health Payment

Publisher, CalPensions.com

Something that rarely happens in California could result from Gov. Brown’s proposal to contain growing state worker retiree health care costs — benefits received by current government retirees might be reduced. Part of the governor’s proposal allows state workers to choose a new low-cost health plan, increasing take-home pay. If enough choose the new option, […]

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How Paid Sick Leave Can Be Healthy For Pensions

Publisher, CalPensions.com

President Obama said during his State of the Union address last week that 43 million workers have no paid sick leave, forcing “too many parents to make the gut-wrenching choice between a paycheck and a sick kid at home.” The president wasn’t talking about government employees. Most of them not only have paid sick leave, […]

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