ESG Investing and Public Sector Unions

By Edward Ring
This article originally appeared in the California Globe. For the last few decades what used to be referred to as socially responsible investing has more recently morphed into “ESG” investing. The acronym stands for “environment, social, and governance,” and refers to how investors should evaluate the impact that every company they’re considering investing in has, positive or...


Ill-Timed Fossil Fuel Pension Disinvestment Bill Threatens Economy

By Marc Joffe
As international tensions threaten US and global energy supplies, the California State Senate is considering legislation that would compel public pension funds to divest from fossil fuel companies, potentially starving these firms of capital. The Senate bill is the latest in a series of initiatives designed to replace traditional portfolio management with a set of...


Pension Costs Are Not the Reason California’s Schools Fail the Disadvantaged

By Edward Ring
A recent guest editorial published by entitled “California’s defunding of public education” makes the case that a “pension contribution maneuver” has left school districts up and down the state with shrinking budgets. The author, Shaohua Yang, gets many of his facts right. For example, he writes that “California 2019 per-capita income tax ranks the fifth highest...

TAGS: CalSTRS, teachers unions

A Pension Recommendation for the California Teachers Association

By Edward Ring
This week a fascinating article on the website of the Education Intelligence Agency revealed that the California Teachers Association, one of the most powerful labor unions in the world, is itself having labor problems. Moreover, the labor problems they’re encountering are because they’re trying to be fiscally responsible. Setting aside for a moment all the grievances that education reformers...

TAGS: California Teachers Association, CalSTRS, government pensions, pension reform

The Real Reason Behind the Drive to Unionize Charter Schools

By Edward Ring
Want to know another reason California’s teachers unions are desperate to unionize charter schools? They want the leverage to force these schools to participate in CalSTRS, because CalSTRS charges all its participants the same pension contribution rates. This is a truly amazing, grotesquely unfair, astonishing scam. It means that new schools have to pay for...

TAGS: CalSTRS, Charter schools

How AB 195 May Help Restore “Impartiality” to Local Ballot Language

By Edward Ring
Every two years in November, California’s local agencies ask the voters to approve hundreds of new taxes and bonds. California’s primary ballot every other June also features dozens, if not hundreds of new requests for local tax increases and borrowing. And in times of dire urgency, special elections are called. For example, this Tuesday, June...

TAGS: CalPERS, CalSTRS, LAUSD, Los Angeles, Measure EE, pensions, UTLA

Stock Market, Housing, Economy Signal State and Local Budget Woes in 2019-20

By Lanny Ebenstein
The typical analysis of state and local government finances is that they are primarily a function of the economy. When the economy is growing well, and especially when it is growing faster than expected, local and state government finances prosper. When the economy grows, more people are employed and employees have larger paychecks. State income...


In good times and in bad, California’s pension fund managers win fat bonuses

By Steven Greenhut
Sacramento — California’s top pension funds have suffered through a few cycles of bleak investment returns and plummeting funding ratios, so we can’t blame them for wanting to celebrate after what was, relatively speaking, a stellar financial year. But the manner in which they chose to celebrate was shocking. The funds gave their top officials...


If you don’t give city employees a pension, what happens?

By Ed Mendel
San Diegans voted five years ago this month to switch all new city hires, except police, from pensions to 401(k)-style individual investment plans, becoming one of the first big cities to take the plunge. Jacksonville, Fla., took a bigger step last April, switching all new employees including police and firefighters to 401(k)-style plans. Last week,...

TAGS: 401K, CalPERS, CalSTRS, pensions

California school district pension contributions on track to exceed $11 billion by 2023

By Marc Joffe
C alifornia school and community college districts are contributing $5.6 billion to CalSTRS and CalPERS during the current school year.  These contributions will total $6.7 billion in the next school year, and, according to CPC’s analysis of actuarial projections, they will reach $11.3 billion in the 2022-2023 school year. In 2015-2016, CalPERS and CalSTRS collected...

TAGS: California pensions, CalPERS, CalSTRS