CalPERS Contribution Request Back On

June 11, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.) – The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) is preparing to ask for another $700 million from the state and school districts.

A Los Angeles Times news report said the latest posture by CalPERS comes after officials last month put off a contribution request, saying they were worried about the Golden State’s budget shortfall (see CalPERS to Delay Asking State for Money). The $700-million CalPERS increase under consideration would boost employer contributions from the state and schools to about $5 billion in 2010-11.

The Times said CalPERS staff is recommending the move and several board members who expressed reservations about the request last month now back it.   The pension fund board is set to reconsider it Tuesday. Several board members — including state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, who questioned the move last month — now are in favor of it.

According to the Times, at least three factors are prompting CalPERS to make the move:

  • The country’s largest public pension fund lost about a quarter of the value of its portfolio of stocks, bonds, real estate, private equity and commodities during the severe recession of 2008-09.
  • A new study shows that CalPERS retirees are living somewhat longer and drawing more monthly pension checks.
  • There has been a jump in the number of eligible employees deciding to retire.