California government retirement plans are more than 50% underfunded

By David Schwartzman
California is failing its employees and its citizens. Documents show that the state and local governments in California do not have enough money saved up to pay for the retirement of its current employees. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) is facing future insolvency. These findings come from the 2015 CalPERS Actuarial Report for...

TAGS: CalPERS, OPEB, pensions

California’s Total State and Local Debt Totals $1.3 Trillion

By Bill Fletcher
We estimate that California state and local governments owe $1.3 trillion as of June 30, 2015. Our analysis is based on a review of federal, state and local financial disclosures. The total includes bonds, loans and other debt instruments as well as unfunded pension and other post-employment benefits promised to public sector employees. Our estimate...

TAGS: debt, OPEB, pensions

Will the BART Bond Fund Pensions?

By Marc Joffe
This fall, voters in San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties will consider a $3.5 billion BART bond measure. Proponents argue that the measure is required to ensure the system’s safety and reliability. Critics are concerned that bond proceeds will be used to support excessive employee salaries and benefits. BART management denies that claim. In...

TAGS: OPEB, pensions

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

Evaluating Total Unfunded Public Employee Retirement Liabilities in 20 California Counties

By Bill Monet
Summary:  Using officially reported figures from the most recent financial statements available, this report calculates the total unfunded employee retirement liabilities for the 20 California counties with their own independent retirement systems. This study is the first of its kind to compile for these counties not only reported pension fund assets and liabilities, but also retirement...

TAGS: OPEB, Other Post Employment Benefits