CalSTRS Launches Efforts to Curb Pension Spiking

September 9, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) announced the establishment of a Pension Abuse Reporting Hotline and the launch of a Compensation Review Unit to enhance its efforts to curb pension spiking. 

 

According to a news release from CalSTRS, the Pension Abuse Reporting Hotline will allow anyone to anonymously report cases of suspected pension abuse, including spiking—the inflation of pay during the final compensation period for the purpose of increasing the pension benefit. The hotline is part of a multi-faceted reporting system comprised of:  

  • A toll-free telephone number (855) 844-2468, 
  • An online submission form available on the CalSTRS Web site, and 
  • A separate confidential postal mail station to receive reports of suspected pension abuse or spiking. The address is P.O. Box 15275, MS-16, Sacramento CA 95851-0275. 

 

In addition, the new Compensation Review Unit will focus on compensation changes that may signal pension spiking. The unit will gather the facts and analyze each case individually. CalSTRS must conduct a deliberate and exhaustive review of all suspected spiking cases to afford members due process as resulting actions could have significant implications on their lifetime retirement income. 

“Over the last fiscal year, an anti-spiking task force within CalSTRS has ‘advanced the ball’ on controlling pension spiking,” said Teachers’ Retirement Board Chair Dana Dillon, in the announcement. “Today’s actions put CalSTRS at the forefront of efforts to prevent, detect and correct incidents of spiking.” 

CalSTRS Chief Executive Officer Jack Ehnes added: “CalSTRS takes pension spiking very seriously and supports efforts to strengthen laws to combat it. By continuing to use proven processes, we take great care to be thorough and deliberate in reviewing any suspected spiking cases before changing a member’s pension payment in a manner consistent with the law. These latest improvements will help ensure that retirement benefits paid to hard-working educators will be duly earned and paid according to their creditable compensation and length of service.” 

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