CalPERS Adds Pension Proposal Section to Web Site

January 18, 2005 ( - The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) wants both the workers and employers it serves to know more about pending state proposals to remake the Golden State's defined benefit pension program.

A CalPERS news release said The Pension Debate Information Center section on its Web site is intended to educate CalPERS members on both the status quo as well as possible changes. The section includes research papers, fact sheets, CalPERS documents, and comparative studies of DB and DC plans.

Proposals have been put forward to end traditional defined benefit pensions for employees hired as of July 1, 2007 while new employees would go into a defined contribution plan that caps employer contributions and lets employees invest in 401(k)-type pension funds (See CalPERS Fights Back Against Reform Proposals ). Under proposed legislation, existing public employees would remain in the present program.

According to CalPERS, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has also proposed in his 2005-2006 budget an option that would allow state employees to opt out of the CalPERS defined benefits program or keep their money on deposit, in which case the state would pay employees an extra stipend equal to what the state normally would have paid on their behalf. He further proposed that employees who remain in CalPERS double their contributions to the pension fund.

CalPERS is the nation’s largest public pension fund with more than $180 billion in assets. It provides retirement and health benefits to 1.4 million state, school, and local public employees and their families.