Tag archive for CalPERS

Moorlach takes stock: looking back on two decades of fiscal reform

John Moorlach owes it all to Half Dome.
The outgoing Orange County Supervisor, who has spent the past two decades reforming his county’s finances, might’ve been just some CPA with a habit of kvetching about politics.
“I went on a hike in Yosemite Valley with a friend, …

California: Premium pay for ordinary duties

The LA Times has a follow-up story on the August vote by the Calpers board to approve 99 categories of additional pay that government employees in the Golden State can use to boost the amount of their salary that counts toward their final pension. While the major import of the story is the way Calpers undermined modest pension reforms signed into law in 2012, it’s fascinating to see just what kinds of tasks earn government workers “premium” pay…

Pensions: When you can’t trust the trustees

Last week the board of trustees of Calpers, dominated by six beneficiaries of the pension fund, voted to essentially undue some of Jerry Brown’s modest 2012 pension reforms with their liberal interpretation of the new rules. I have a piece in the LA Times today describing how this is not just a California problem. Many pension funds are directed by boards dominated by beneficiaries…

Riordan, Rutten and the scope of real pension reform

Richard Riordan and Tim Rutten are back with a response to my critique of their federal pension bailout (oops! “insurance fund”). They don’t really add a lot of detail about their plan, just seek to assure us why their idea (providing federally-subsidized funding to refinance …

CalPERS and the froth

Why do public pension funds take on so much risk? Is it out of a principled belief in how long-term institutional investing should work? Or do they feel compelled to chase yield to make up for past mistakes, such as underfunding or making overly generous …

Pension funds’ chase for yield continues

A key principle of public finance is stability. Government budgets support essential services that must be provided during both the peaks and troughs of the economic cycle. Some instability is inevitable, but a well-designed fiscal policy tries to minimize it, by, for example, reducing governments’ …

CalPERS board: The embodiment of chutzpah

Yesterday the board of CalPERS voted to reverse its policy of several years ago which sought to spread investment losses over 15 years. Once again it will instead calculate those losses over a five-year period. Although the move is sound policy, the effect of the change will be to further slam hard-pressed municipalities in the state, which have seen their required contributions to CalPERS soar in the last decade. Those contributions will now go up by another 50 percent or more. In justifying the policy, one CalPERS board member told the Washington Times that the pension fund has been “too protective” of employers (that is, local governments funded by taxpayer dollars) with smoothing techniques that restrained their annual increases in pension fund contributions, and that governments around the state should take responsibility for the enhanced benefits they promised workers by paying more. This is what you call chutzpah.

CalPERS’ actuarial magic: can’t have it both ways

The main drama in Stockton’s bankruptcy proceedings concerns a fight between CalPERS and a group referred to in legal documents as the “Capital Markets Creditors” (two bond insurers, a money manager, and a bank (herein “creditors”)). The latter argue that CalPERS is just another “garden …

The Stockton ruling: judicial activism or restraint?

When Judge Christopher Klein ruled last week that Stockton was eligible for bankruptcy, many conservatives were disappointed. To them, the ruling represented yet another win for public employee unions and CalPERS, the same crowd to whom they assign responsibility for Stockton’s collapse.
Well, it certainly wasn’t a loss …

Walters: Stockton decision not a clear win for CalPERS

The Sacramento Bee’s columnist Dan Walters argues that the Stockton bankruptcy decision is not a clear win for unions or the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS). As he wrote, “But the details of Klein’s ruling imply that the city and CalPERS may not prevail …