CalPERS Responds to Criticisms With New Web Site

September 25, 2009 ( - Having drawn an increasing amount of criticism, the nation's largest public pension plan has launched a Web site that it says will "separate fact from fiction" in the debate over the pension fund's future.

The new site – – includes videos from officials from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), as well as talking points about pension benefits, investment strategy—and even health-care reform.  

The site is part of an overall public relations campaign begun in response to increasing concerns about the health of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. According to the Sacramento Bee, CalPERS lost $56 billion in the latest fiscal year and plans to impose higher contribution rates on state and local governments starting next year.

However, among other things, the new site explains that “Many factors contribute to employers paying more, not just our investment decline,” and that “The cost of pensions as a percentage of payroll is about the same today as it was in the mid-1980s.”   The new site also asserts that “CalPERS is beginning to recover from last year’s market meltdown, and “…pensions aren’t “a drain on the public,” among other things.

More information is available at