CalPERS Updates Board Competencies

December 5, 2013 ( – The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has adopted a new set of core competencies for its board members.

Understanding financial statements, balance sheets, economic principles and actuarial methodologies are among the competencies sought for those wishing to serve as a member of the CalPERS Board of Administration.

The complete list of competencies specify more than 20 criteria in the areas of board governance, health care, pension plans, financial markets and communication. They will become part of the CalPERS board governance policy and will be used to develop future training and educational opportunities for board members.

“The issues and topics we address are some of the most diverse and complex of any entity, public or private, in the country,” says Rob Feckner, president of the CalPERS Board of Administration, in Sacramento, California. “These criteria are designed to enhance the competency of the board and will help us better serve our members and employers.”

The adoption of these competencies is an effort by CalPERS to strengthen the accountability, transparency and ethics of its board. The additional competencies will supplement principles adopted in recent years, such as asking that board members be ethical and capable fiduciaries with the following characteristics: 


  • Open and accountable to CalPERS stakeholders;
  • Risk-intelligent and insightful in decisionmaking;
  • Focused on a long-term view for the needs of CalPERS members, retirees and their families;
  • Committed to continuous learning; and
  • Adaptable to changing environmental, political and economic conditions.
CalPERS is a public pension fund with more than $278 billion in assets. More information about CalPERS is available here.