Just How Much Money Might CalPERS Have to Collect in an Economic Downturn?

By Edward Ring
When evaluating the financial challenges facing California’s state and local public employee pension funds, a compelling question to consider is when, exactly when, will these funds financially collapse? That is, of course, an impossible question to answer. CalPERS, for example, manages hundreds of billions in assets, which means that long before it literally runs out...

TAGS: pension fund contributions, pension fund insolvency, Public sector pensions

Put Public Employees on Secure Choice and Social Security

By Edward Ring
“The state shall not have any liability for the payment of the retirement savings benefit earned by program participants pursuant to this title.” – California State Senator Kevin De Leon, August 7, 2016, Sacramento Bee This quote from Senator De Leon, one of the main proponents of California’s new “Secure Choice” retirement program for private...

TAGS: CalPERS, pensions, Public sector pensions

Sacramento's "Secure Choice" Pooled 401K – Too Frugal for Public Workers

By Edward Ring
In a move of breathtaking hypocrisy, California’s legislators have unveiled a financially sustainable retirement security program for private workers, while keeping financially unsustainable pensions for public workers. What private sector employers and private sector workers need to ask, more than anything, is if this new retirement security scheme is so great, why aren’t public employees going...

TAGS: Public sector pensions

The Hypocrisy of Public Sector Unions

By Edward Ring
During the industrial age, labor unions played a vital role in protecting the rights of workers. Skeptics may argue that enlightened management played an equally if not greater role, such as when Henry Ford famously raised the wages of his workers so they could afford to buy the cars they made, but few would argue...

TAGS: education reform, financialization, government unions, pension reform, Public sector pensions, public sector unions, public unions, Vergara case

Pension burden in 5 California counties now over 10%

By Marc Joffe
Years after the Great Recession slammed their Wall Street investments, at least five California counties have broken through the 10 percent ceiling, spending at least one of out of every $10 to fund their government-employee retirement programs. The resulting strain on local budgets, called the pension burden, is revealed in California Policy Center’s latest analysis of county reports....

TAGS: Fresno County, Kern County, Public sector pensions

University of California Hikes Tuition to Fund Soaring Pensions of up to $350,000 a Year

By Robert Fellner
The University of California (UC) is implementing major changes to their retirement system to address its $12.1 billion unfunded liability, which has been cited as the driving factor behind recent tuition hikes. The proposed changes include a cap on pension benefits and the possibility of offering a 401(k) defined contribution plan to new hires. Looking...

TAGS: pension, Public sector pensions, university of california

Public Sector Pay: Transparency and Perspective

By Jon Coupal
Public sector labor leaders in California would rather that the public remain relatively ignorant about how well their members are compensated. But they are fighting a losing battle. Because of California’s massive unfunded pension liability and other scandals, the public is demanding answers. Interests as diverse as taxpayer groups, business organizations, the media and some...

TAGS: Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, John Chiang, Jon Coupal, public sector compensation, Public sector pensions, TransparentCalifornia.com, unsustainable pensions

Public Pension Solvency Requires Asset Bubbles

By Edward Ring
The title of this post expresses what is probably the greatest example of a monstrous hypocrisy – that public employee unions, and the pension funds they control, are supposedly helping the American economy, and protecting the American people from “the bankers.” Overpriced “bubble” assets caused by banks offering low interest rates hurt ordinary working people...

TAGS: American Federation of Teachers, CalPERS, CalSTRS, low interest rates, pension funds, Public sector pensions

Why Frequently Cited Average Pension Numbers Are Misleadingly Low

By Robert Fellner
Public pension systems in California, most notably CalPERS and CalSTRS, are quick to cite their average pension amount as evidence that their pension benefits are reasonable. In addition to the pension plans themselves, many defenders of public pension plans will cite these averages themselves when attempting to counter claims that pension benefits have become excessive...

TAGS: CalPERS, CalSTRS, Public sector pensions