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CSR | Political Activity

CSR Board hikes dues for top retirees

Posted Dec 04, 2012 by   

Retirees who receive $4,000 or more in their monthly retirement warrants will see a $2 hike in their CSR dues payment beginning Jan. 1, 2013.

Dues will stay the same for CSR members who make less than $4,000 a month. It has been more than a decade since CSR raised dues for any of its members.

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CSR suggests candidates in the Nov. 6 election

Posted Oct 19, 2012 by   

The California State Retirees Board of Directors is endorsing the following candidates in the Nov. 6 General Election.

Recommendations were made to the board by the CSR Political Action Committee (PAC), which considers each candidate’s voting record on issues such as protecting pensions and health benefits for state retirees.

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CalPERS approves long-term care premium increase

Posted Oct 18, 2012 by   

      The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) Board of Administration Oct. 17 approved an 85 percent premium increase for early purchasers of its Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance Program policies. The increase, to be spread over two years, is being implemented to help stabilize the program’s underlying Long-Term Care Fund and will take effect July 2015.

      Members who opt to cover the increase in a single year will pay only 79 percent. Policyholders affected by the increase purchased two types of policies between 1995 and 2004: policies with lifetime benefits with inflation protection, and policies with lifetime benefits without inflation protection (California Partnership policies will be excluded).

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Medicare Part D mailing -- CalPERS members should do nothing

Posted Oct 04, 2012 by   

     CalPERS retirees should do nothing with the letter they received in September asking them whether they want to “opt out” of Medicare Part D, according to CalPERS officials.

     CalPERS is converting from the Medicare Part D Retiree Drug Subsidy Program (RDS) to a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) for Medicare-eligible members. Blue Shield and CVS Caremark are administering the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) for CalPERS effective Jan. 1, 2013, and they are responsible for sending the letters.

 These plans are Employer Group Waiver Plans (EGWP), governed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The centers require that health plans offer members a choice to opt out of the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan. This opt-out provision was not a requirement under the Medicare Part D Retiree Drug Subsidy Program. 

 

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CalPERS weighs huge premium hike for long-term care

Posted Oct 04, 2012 by   

It's an old-age safety net offered to California public employees: insurance to cover the exorbitant cost of staying in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and the like.

Now most of the 150,000 or so Californians who buy long-term care insurance from CalPERS are facing what could be a big rate hike.

CalPERS is considering imposing a 75 percent increase in premiums on the vast majority of its long-term care policyholders. They would pay hundreds of dollars a year more – thousands, in some cases – as the California Public Employees' Retirement System tries to fix financial holes in the program.

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Steinberg: Lawmakers consider cap on pensions, not hybrid

Posted Aug 27, 2012 by   

Lawmakers charged with overhauling California's state and local public pension law are considering a plan to cap defined benefit pensions that would not include a second 401(k)-style component common in so-called "hybrid" retirement plans. "There will be a cap," Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, during a hallway press conference this afternoon with Capitol reporters.

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Media is wrongly hyping pensions as a cause of city bankruptcies

Posted Aug 08, 2012 by   

The Sacramento Bee
By Rob Feckner

If there is one thing I have learned in my time on the CalPERS board it's this – a little perspective goes a long way. This is especially true when it comes to the news coverage of CalPERS' recently announced investment returns for last fiscal year and the criticism of pensions in municipal bankruptcies. Let me offer a little perspective.

Last fiscal year, CalPERS earned a 1 percent return on our investments. The news has caused some people, including the media, to claim that the sky is falling and to demand that CalPERS "get real" and lower our investment assumptions. A few people have even personally blamed our investment staff.
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Legislators take on pension reform

Posted Aug 06, 2012 by   

After a monthlong break, the Legislature returns to work at the Capitol on Monday to take on one of the Golden State's thorniest issues: public employee pensions.

The Senate and Assembly have just four weeks to vote on hundreds of bills before the two-year session concludes at the end of the month, but the main focus will be on changing the pension compensation system.

Just what those changes will entail is unclear. Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed increasing the retirement age and creating a hybrid system that includes a 401(k)-style benefit, among other things, but lawmakers have yet to approve those or anything else.
After a monthlong break, the Legislature returns to work at the Capitol on Monday to take on one of the Golden State's thorniest issues: public employee pensions.

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Prisons, privatization, patronage

Posted Jun 22, 2012 by   

By PAUL KRUGMAN
New York Times

Over the past few days, The New York Times has published several terrifying reports about New Jersey’s system of halfway houses — privately run adjuncts to the regular system of prisons. The series is a model of investigative reporting, which everyone should read. But it should also be seen in context. The horrors described are part of a broader pattern in which essential functions of government are being both privatized and degraded.

First of all, about those halfway houses: In 2010, Chris Christie, the state’s governor — who has close personal ties to Community Education Centers, the largest operator of these facilities, and who once worked as a lobbyist for the firm — described the company’s operations as “representing the very best of the human spirit.” But The Times’s reports instead portray something closer to hell on earth — an understaffed, poorly run system, with a demoralized work force, from which the most dangerous individuals often escape to wreak havoc, while relatively mild offenders face terror and abuse at the hands of other inmates.

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Departments prepare to slash working retirees

Posted Jun 21, 2012 by   

State Worker Sacramento Bee June 21, 2012

The Brown administration has put out the word: Departments, get ready to whack your working retirees.

The official term for the 5,800 or so state workers who draw both a pension and a paycheck is "retired annuitants." Sometimes they're tagged "double dippers." State workers occasionally refer to them as "retired irritants."

Gov. Jerry Brown has departments thinking about how to eliminate all retired annuitants except those in "mission critical" jobs. The idea enjoys near-universal acclaim.

Still, there are some holes in the arguments of the various proponents.

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