CalPERS Finds State Employees’ Benefits Boost Economy

April 2, 2014 ( - More than $30 billion in economic activity was generated by retirement benefits paid to California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) members.

The CalPERS Economic Impacts in California report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, demonstrates how CalPERS benefit payments and investments generate significant economic activity in the state, stimulating business growth and increasing tax revenues that create jobs for Californians.

Key findings of the report include the following:

  • CalPERS benefits (retirees spending their pensions) returned $10.85 in economic activity to California for each taxpayer dollar (public funds) contributed to the system;
  • The total economic revenue generated by CalPERS benefits was more than $30.4 billion;
  • CalPERS benefits created 113,664 jobs throughout California;
  • Investments in California accounted for $20.7 billion, or approximately 8.9%, of the CalPERS portfolio; and
  • The CalPERS investment portfolio, which includes public and private equities, real estate, fixed income, and infrastructure, supported 1.5 million jobs.

“This study clearly illustrates that public pensions are one of the most powerful engines that drive California’s economy,” says Anne Stausboll, chief executive officer for CalPERS. “CalPERS investment of $20 billion in California, combined with the benefits paid to our members, truly serves to stimulate our local and state economies and the creation of jobs.”

The full report is here.