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 Partisan War on "Income Inequality"; Law of Bad Ideas

By Mike Shedlock
Debate rages over “income inequality”. CEOs makes hundreds or thousands of times more than workers. That is one aspect of income inequality. And it’s easily explained: The Fed’s inflation policies, bank bailouts, Fractional Reserve Lending, and crony capitalism are to blame. That blame is nonpartisan. Rather than attack the problem, “progressive” partisans howl over minimum wages....

TAGS: Public sector pensions, San Jose mayor Chuck Reed

Pension Reform Comes to Ventura County

By Edward Ring
“401Ks carry no guarantee, and that’s the distinction between a defined contribution system and a defined benefit system.”  – Rick Shimmel, executive director of the Ventura County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association, February 20, 2014, Fox News Soundbite Truer words were never spoken, Mr. Shimmel. But when the “guarantee” can’t be lowered to levels that are merely...

TAGS: Adjustable Defined Benefit, San Jose mayor Chuck Reed

CalSTRS Contributions Inadequate; Unions Call Reformers “Right-Wing Ideologues”

By Edward Ring
During the most recent year for which there is publicly available data, the fiscal-year-ended 6-30-2012, the California State Teachers Retirement System contributed a $1.1 billion payment towards paying off an unfunded liability of $71.0 billion. This fact, and much more, came out in a California Public Policy Center study released last week “Are Annual Contributions Into...

TAGS: San Jose mayor Chuck Reed

Union Environmental Appeal of San Jose Infill High-Rise Fools No One

By Kevin Dayton
Today (Tuesday, August 13, 2013) construction trade unions either showed exceptional arrogance or exceptional foolishness when they chose to exploit the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) against a high-profile “infill” project in downtown San Jose. For the past few years, some California state legislators have wanted to discourage CEQA actions meant to advance objectives unrelated...

TAGS: Adams Broadwell Joseph & Cardozo, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), CEQA Reform, Chuck Reed, Darrell Steinberg, San Jose mayor Chuck Reed, Santa Clara-San Benito Building and Construction Trades Council

California Pension Reformers Plan New State Ballot Initiative

By Steven Greenhut
A statewide constitutional initiative planned for 2014 would tackle the biggest obstacle to meaningful pension reform: vested benefits. Right now, with certain exceptions, California municipalities may not reduce pension benefits for current employees—unlike in the private sector, where employers can change the terms of employees’ current pension plans, making them less generous. The courts have...

TAGS: BART strike, California pension reform, CalPERS, Pacific Grove pension reform, Public sector pensions, San Jose mayor Chuck Reed, San Jose pension reform

Would ANY Public Sector Union Reform Appeal to California’s Democrats?

By Edward Ring
“There’s a difference between being liberal and progressive and being a union Democrat.” San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, Bloomberg The most powerful defenders of that broken system, without a question, is the teachers’ union.” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Sacramento Press If you wish to challenge the conventional wisdom, that Democrats and liberals march in...

TAGS: San Jose mayor Chuck Reed

San Jose’s Pension Initiative will be a National Bellweather

By Steven Greenhut
San Jose union officials are celebrating a decision last week by the Sixth District Court of Appeals, which struck some city-drafted language from a June ballot measure designed to reduce pension benefits for newly hired city workers and require existing workers either to pay more for their current pension plan or switch to a lower-benefit...

TAGS: San Jose mayor Chuck Reed