Average "Full Career" CalPERS Retirement Package Worth $70,000 Per Year

By Edward Ring
“‘What makes the ‘$100,000 Club’ some magic number denoting abuse other than the claims of anti-pension zealots?’ said Dave Low, chairman of Californians for Retirement Security, a coalition of 1.6 million public workers and retirees.” This quote from a government union spokesperson, and others, were dutifully collected as part of Orange County Register reporter Teri...

TAGS: $100K pension club, defined benefit pensions, government pensions, pensions, Transparent California

Why Investment Realities Will Compel Pension Reform

By Edward Ring
“For the first time in the pension fund’s history, we paid out more in retirement benefits than we took in contributions.” –  Anne Stausboll, Chief Executive Officer, CalPERS, 2014-2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report There are few examples of a seemingly innocuous statement with more significance than Stausboll’s admission, buried within her “CEO’s Letter of Transmittal,” summarizing the performance...

TAGS: CalPERS, defined benefit pensions, unfunded pension liability

Michigan Court: Reduce Pensions or Reduce Retirement Health Benefits

By Mike Shedlock
Editor’s Note: Notwithstanding recent court challenges that could go either way, one way to negotiate meaningful steps towards financially sustainable defined benefit pensions, i.e., reductions or suspensions of COLAs, prospective reductions in the multiplier, increased employee contributions towards the unfunded liability and not just towards the normal contribution, etc., is to offer to reduce OPEB...

TAGS: defined benefit pensions, OPEB, Other Post Employment Benefits

The Misleading Arguments of Those Who Fight Against Pension Reform

By Edward Ring
Weakening pensions is a choice, not an imperative. The crisis is political, not actuarial. – Susan Greenbaum, guest editorial, Al Jazeera America, October 20, 2014 With this thesis highlighted, Greenbaum, a retired professor of anthropology at the University of South Florida, has just published a guest editorial that provides in one place a useful example...

TAGS: defined benefit pensions, pension fund solvency, pension reform, Social Security

Federal Judge Smacks CalPERS on Sanctity of Pensions

By Mike Shedlock
Exceptionally good news from California today: A federal judge ruled Calpers claim of “Sanctity of Pensions” is invalid. Today’s ruling went even further than the bankrupt city of Stockton originally sought in court. For details, please consider the New York Times article In Ruling on California Town’s Bankruptcy, Judge Challenges Sanctity of Pensions.  A federal bankruptcy...

TAGS: CalPERS, defined benefit pensions, Stockton bankruptcy

Pension Battle Shifts to San Jose, San Bernardino, Stockton

By Mike Shedlock
Now that a federal judge in Michigan has properly ruled pension obligations are not sacrosanct (see Lesson for Union Dinosaurs) the spotlight is once again on union dinosaurs in California. Bankrupt San Bernardino foolishly did not attempt to shed pension obligations in bankruptcy, but perhaps it can now reconsider. What about Stockton and Vallejo? On April...

TAGS: defined benefit pensions, Public sector pensions, San Bernardino bankruptcy, San Jose pension reform, Stockton bankruptcy, Vallejo bankruptcy