CalPERS Board Opposes State Amendment to Eliminate State DB Pension System

February 16, 2005 ( - The Board of Administration at the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) has voted 9-3 to oppose legislation calling for a constitutional amendment that would require new state employees to receive a defined contribution plan instead of a defined benefit program.

The board has voted against the adoption of the proposed amendments, which would make it so that all employees hired after July 1, 2007 would be excluded from the state’s defined benefits pension plan.

“The abundance of evidence suggests this legislative proposal to move to a defined contribution plan is not well thought out,” said Rob Feckner, President of CalPERS, in a  press release . “It is our fiduciary duty to oppose this legislation because it harms the retirement security of future members and because long term it will hurt our ability to invest assets appropriately.”

The Board accepted the recommendation of the Benefits and Program Administration Committee, according to the news release.  If the amendment passes, it must be ratified by voters in a statewide election, according to CalPERS.

Calls for reform have been coming from both state legislators (See Assemblyman Floats DC Plan for Golden State Employees ) and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (See  Schwarzenegger Supports CalPERS Overhaul Efforts ), who think that the state’s plan is a financial burden and does not provide workers with flexibility.