News Archives

Articles for category Politics

Attorney General releases summary on Reed initiative

Posted Aug 12, 2015 by    categoryCalPERS categoryRetirees categoryPolitics categoryRetirement

Proponents of a California ballot initiative requiring pension changes to go through a public vote on Tuesday rejected Attorney General Kamala Harris’ official description of the measure as an attempt “to try to mislead the public.”

For every ballot measure, the attorney general’s office issues a short name and description to appear on the petitions that backers use to get signatures. Because it is often the entry point for voters to understand what’s in a ballot initiative, the wording carries high stakes.


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Reed/DeMaio initiative threatens the middle class

Posted Jul 27, 2015 by    categoryCalPERS categoryRetirees categoryPolitics categoryRetirement

By Dave Low, chair of Californians for Retirement Security

In their never-ending effort to force-feed warmed-over political ideas to a skeptical public, the pension attackers are back, using new poll-tested language and focus-grouped talking points to undermine retirement security for millions of working families.

Under the Orwellian moniker of the “Voter Empowerment Act,” former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, former San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio and their anti-pension cohorts are proposing nothing short of gutting the public employee pension system – one of the last bastions of middle-class economic security.

They are falsely selling their proposed ballot measure as a potential cut in pensions for new employees. In reality, it could cut or eliminate pensions earned by current employees for future work.

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Debunking the “Crowding Out” Myth About Pensions

Posted Jun 09, 2015 by    categoryPolitics categoryRetirement

By Brian Rice, President of the Sacramento Area Firefighters 

When they announced their ballot measure last week, critics of public employee retirement benefits engaged in hyperbole and pointing to potholes as evidence that millions of elderly Californians should be stripped of their retirement savings. Cities, they claim, are spending so much on retired police officers, firefighters and other employees that services – such as filling potholes or maintaining parks – are getting “crowded out.”

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POLL: Will California’s public pension proposal go to voters?

Posted Jun 09, 2015 by    categoryPolitics categoryRetirement

SACRAMENTO BEE - Former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Carl DeMaio, a former San Diego city councilman and current radio talk show co-host, have a new ballot proposal that would constitutionally require that voters approve increases in compensation and retirement benefits for public employees.

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CalPERS responds to Reed's public pension measure

Posted Jun 04, 2015 by    categoryCalPERS categoryRetirees categoryPolitics categoryRetirement

"Inadequate financial preparation for retirement is a growing national concern. Defined benefit plans are the most cost-efficient way to save for retirement and should remain an important tool in retirement planning. All employees – whether in the public or private sectors – should have effective means to pursue retirement security," CalPERS said in a statement issued June 4.

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Ballot measure would have voters decide public pension benefits

Posted Jun 04, 2015 by    categoryCalPERS categoryRetirees categoryPolitics categoryRetirement

For the third time in four years, advocates for altering public pensions have a plan they want to put to a statewide vote.

But this time the proposal by pension-change advocates Chuck Reed and Carl DeMaio has a new twist: Pensions and other retirement benefits themselves would automatically become a matter of ballot-box politics by requiring voter approval any time government officials sought to upgrade benefits.

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CalPERS wins another bankruptcy ruling

Posted May 13, 2015 by    categoryCalPERS categoryRetirees categoryPolitics categoryRetirement

Government pensions in California have withstood another fierce challenge in bankruptcy court.

A bankruptcy judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by two disgruntled bond creditors challenging the city of San Bernardino’s decision to make its pension payments in full to CalPERS.

Ruling from Riverside, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury tossed the claim filed by the two creditors, Ambac Assurance Corp. and a Luxembourg bank named EEPK.

Last fall the city, which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012, said it would pay its $24 million-a-year CalPERS bill in full. Ambac and EEPK said that arrangement was unfair to other creditors. Although San Bernardino hasn’t filed its complete repayment plan, it’s likely that many creditors would stand to receive only a portion of what they’re owed.

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CSR President Tim Behrens testifies against governor's proposal for a high-deductible health plan

Posted Mar 19, 2015 by    categoryCalPERS categoryRetirees categoryHealth Care categoryPolitics

California State Retirees President Tim Behrens testified at a joint informational hearing on March 18 that the governor's plan to introduce a high-deductible health plan for CalPERS members is "the wrong path to take in addressing high health care costs."

"Such plans shift costs to workers, discourage people from accessing needed health care and would divide [CalPERS] health plans into those for the young and those for the old," Behrens testified before the joint Informational hearinig of the Senate Public Employment and Retirement Committee and the Assembly Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security Committee.


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New ballot measure proposed to cut pensions

Posted Mar 11, 2015 by    categoryCalPERS categoryRetirees categoryPolitics

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A ballot measure campaign to cut California's public pensions will be launched in May by a coalition of politicians and business people led by former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, with the state's largest retirement system a prime target.

The measure would take aim at California's $300 billion giant Calpers, which has a near-iron grip on the state's pensions. Calpers, America's largest public pension fund and administrator of pensions for more than 3,000 state and local agencies, has long argued that pensions cannot be touched or renegotiated, even in bankruptcy.

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Congress agrees to allow cuts to some retiree benefits

Posted Dec 11, 2014 by    categoryCalPERS categoryRetirees categoryPolitics categoryRetirement

Retirees covered by financially troubled multiemployer pensions could soon see their benefits cut under a congressional spending deal to keep the government running, the Associated Press (AP) reported Dec. 10.

The plan does not affect public pensions like those under CalPERS, but California State Retirees is closely monitoring this and all other pension issues and trends.

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