The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

January 26, 2010
CalPERS retirement forum to feature pension change advocate

100126 David Crane.JPG
CalPERS is sponsoring a day-long discussion "California Retirement Dialogue" this Friday at the Sacramento Convention Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event, which a fund release says "will examine the current state of California's public pension plans and analyze emerging ideas for ensuring future retirement security," is open to the public at no charge, but you must register to attend.

The discussion panels feature union representatives, government officials and retirement fund officers -- most of them aren't likely to agitate for radical public retirement changes. A notable exception: David Crane, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's special adviser for jobs and economic growth, who's pictured above.

Crane has been the administration's point man on making the case for rolling back retirement benefits for new hires. Example: Last week the San Jose Mercury News published this Crane op-ed taking to task Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg for backing state employee pension increases 10 years ago when the Sacramento Democrat was in the Assembly.

(Sidenote: The Merc piece also says that pension costs have risen 2000 percent since SB 400 passed in 1999, a figure that Schwarzenegger cited during a Sacramento Press Club luncheon Monday. CalPERS responded with this e-mail blast , suggesting that the governor is data-parsing to score political points. The fund says that the state pays proportionately less per employee for pensions than it did in 1981.)

Click here to view Friday's agenda. Crane is scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. panel that tackles the question, "Retirement benefit changes: Are they needed?"

This link opens the registration page.

The fund is sponsoring a similar forum next month in Los Angeles.

IMAGE: David Crane / Sacramento Bee, Mark Morris, 2008

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at jortiz@sacbee.com.

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