Pension reform waits for California Supreme Court

By Edward Ring
With markets fitfully advancing after a nearly two year pause, the need for pension reform again fades from public discussion. And it’s easy for pension reformers to forget that even when funds are obviously imperiled, with growing unfunded liabilities and continuously increasing demands from the pension funds, hardly anyone understands what’s going on. Unless you are sitting on a...

TAGS: "California Rule", CalFire Local 2881 vs. CalPERS, California Supreme Court, pension reform, pensions

Were Pensions Benefits Retroactively Enhanced Without Notifying the Public?

By Edward Ring
In 1999, at the height of the stock market runup fueled by the internet bubble, California’s state legislature passed SB 400, which increased pension benefits for officers with the California Highway Patrol. Over the next several years, pension benefits were similarly increased for government employees working in nearly every one of California’s cities, counties, state agencies,...

TAGS: "California Rule", pensions, PEPRA, Section 7507, Sonoma County

California Rule Does Not Protect “Airtime”

By Edward Ring
Earlier this week the California Supreme Court ruled in the case CalFire vs CalPERS. The case challenged one of the provisions of California’s 2014 pension reform legislation (PEPRA) which had eliminated the purchase of “Airtime.” This was the practice whereby retiring public employees could purchase “service credits” that would lengthen the number of years they worked,...

TAGS: "California Rule", CalFire, California Supreme Court, CalPERS, Edward Ring, Unions

The Financial Context of the Imminent California Supreme Court Decision on the “California Rule”

By Edward Ring
Any day now, the California Supreme Court will rule on what may be one of the most significant cases affecting pension reform in California history. The case, CalFire Local 2881 vs. CalPERS, challenges one of the provisions of PEPRA (Public Employee Pension Reform Act) Governor Brown’s 2013 pension reform legislation. The plaintiffs argue that PEPRA’s abolition...

TAGS: "California Rule", CalFire Local 2881 vs. CalPERS, California Supreme Court

Looming Decision on “California Rule” Will Dramatically Affect Pension Reform Efforts

By Jon Coupal
On its surface, the case heard last Wednesday by the California Supreme Court in CalFire Local 2881 vs. CalPERS doesn’t seem that important. At issue is the so-called “California Rule,” an obscure legal doctrine relating to public employee pensions. But for California’s beleaguered taxpayers, the case is one of extraordinary importance because its outcome will...

TAGS: "California Rule", CalFire Local 2881 vs. CalPERS

How Local Governments Can Reform Pensions IF the “California Rule” is Overturned

By Ken Churchill
In December of 2018, the California Supreme Court will hear arguments in what is generally referred to as the Cal Fire pension case. The ruling could potentially overturn what is commonly referred to as the “California Rule.” The current interpretation of the rule is that pension benefits, once increased, cannot be reduced for existing employees...

TAGS: "California Rule", California pension reform, pension reform

Will the California Supreme Court Reform the “California Rule?” – Latest Update

By Edward Ring
Most pension experts believe that without additional reform, pension payments are destined to put an unsustainable burden on California’s state and local governments. Even if pension fund investments meet their performance objectives over the next several years, California’s major pension funds have already announced that payments required from participating agencies are going to roughly double...

TAGS: "California Rule", California Supreme Court, pension reform

California Court Ruling Allows Pension Changes

By Ken Churchill
On August 17, 2016 the First Appellate District Court ruled on the lawsuit brought by the Marin Association of Public Employees against the Marin County Employees’ Retirement Association (MCERA) and State of California. The case was brought after MCERA eliminated pay items considered pensionable following the States enactment of the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform...

TAGS: "California Rule", Marin County, PEPRA, Public Employee Pension Reform Act

Court Pension Decision Weakens ‘California Rule’

By Ed Mendel
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...

TAGS: "California Rule", California Public Employees Retirement System, San Jose mayor Chuck Reed, SB 400, unfunded liability

The Mechanics of Pension Reform – Local Actions

By John Moore
Part 2 of 2… Introduction In Part One, I enumerated reforms needed at the state level. That list was in part plugging up the “cheats” used to run up the statewide pension deficit of about a trillion dollars. Employee unions control the state legislature, the attorney general, all executive offices and all retirement administrators; therefore...

TAGS: "California Rule", California pension reform, John Moore, Pacific Grove pension reform, pension reform