Monday, December 7, 2015

UC's Retirement System: We Need to Avoid Being Tarred by the CalPERS Brush

Whenever there are problems at CalPERS, they reflect badly on other public pensions since CalPERS is the largest public plan. Currently, CalPERS seems to be in the spotlight over issues of governance. A dissident member of the CalPERS board has been denied public records and other related problems have been highlighted:


Excerpt: As one of 13 CalPERS board members, J.J. Jelincic presumably has some authority. But last June and July, he filed Public Records Act requests to force CalPERS to give him weekly reports from its federal lobbyists, much like any member of the public. CalPERS tripled its federal lobbying force last year from one all-purpose firm, the Lussier Group, to three separate lobbying representatives for retirement policy, investment and market regulation, and health care issues. Jelincic wanted to see what CalPERS was getting for its increased spending. So he asked for the weekly reports from the lobbyists, as specified in their contracts. But the rest of the board had decided monthly reports, also specified in the contracts, are enough, and Jelincic’s informal request was denied...
In addition to various links in the calpensions piece you might find of interest, Harry Shearer devoted most of his Sunday radio program "Le Show," normally a humor program but sometimes serious as in this case, to CalPERS and its governance problems:
The pension part of the program starts at around the 5 minute mark and deals initially with private equity firms generally, then moves to CalPERS in particular.

To the extent that we can get the word out that UC's retirement system has a very different governance structure than CalPERS, we do ourselves a favor. What we would like is the state to treat UC's pension the same as CalPERS (and thus CSU) for funding purposes. But otherwise, we are not CalPERS.

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