The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

January 24, 2012
A.M. Reading: CalPERS' investments; CA cities resist defined benefit pensions; public pension reform; NY state overtime

Thumbnail image for newspaper_5.gifCalPERS reports just small gain in 2011
CalPERS, still struggling to recover from the market crash of 2008, said Monday it earned a return of just 1.1 percent on its investments in 2011. That was a fraction of the 12.5 percent it earned in 2010 and underscored the challenges facing CalPERS amid cries from some elected officials to curb the cost of public pensions in California. (Sacramento Bee)

3 Calif. municipalities sidestep pension debate
While most of the state's roughly 480 cities and towns are entangled in a heated debate about future pension costs, three small cities in Contra Costa County are quietly sitting on the sidelines. (California Watch)

Issue of the week: Pensions
THE ISSUE: On Wednesday, a Senate-Assembly conference committee will convene to consider part of Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to reduce state pension costs. Brown wants to offer hybrid plans to new state employees that would include traditional defined-benefit pensions and 401(k)-style retirement funds. Last week, we asked readers: Should lawmakers reduce pension costs by offering hybrid plans to new state workers? Does that change go too far? Or should it be more far-reaching? (Sacramento Bee)

Dan Walters: California civil service unions in denial on pension costs
Whenever someone suggests that California's public employee pension systems need reform, civil service unions react dismissively, often with attacks on the credentials or even the morals of critics. (Sacramento Bee)

George Skelton: The pension clock is ticking
It's the norm in January: After the governor proposes a new budget and delivers his State of the State address, legislators slide into hibernation until spring. ... So it's not surprising that there seems to be a look of lethargy among legislators concerning the sensitive issue of public employee pensions. (Los Angeles Times)

Officials oppose extended federal oversight of 2 mental hospitals
California officials Monday filed documents in U.S. District Court opposing extended federal oversight of two state mental hospitals, arguing that new leaders have already taken measures to improve patient care and safety. (Los Angeles Times)

New pension forecasts: what if earnings falter?
A new advisory panel, following a move by CalPERS last year, recommends that public pensions take a small step that touches on a big issue: What happens if pension fund earnings fall below the forecast? (Calpensions)

Overtime increases for state government
ALBANY -- Overtime costs at New York state agencies grew 4.5 percent in 2011, with four state employees earning more than $100,000 in overtime alone, according to records from the state Comptroller's Office. (Democrat and Chronicle)

Malloy proposes overhaul of state's pension-funding plan
Hartford - Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Monday unveiled a proposal to overhaul the state's pension-funding plan that would require larger state contributions up front but provide potential long-term savings of nearly $6 billion. (The Day)

DiNapoli: Cuomo pension plan not 'the smartest move'
Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling for a new pension tier for future state workers, which would give them the option of enrolling in a 401(k)-style retirement plan. But the state's top fiscal officer, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, calls making decisions about the pension system based on today's fiscal troubles "might not be the smartest move." (WNYC)

Editorial: Private workers, public pensions / Christie kills good bill
Employees and officials of the New Jersey League of Municipalities, the New Jersey Association of Counties, and the New Jersey School Boards Association are eligible for taxpayer-funded state pensions. (Press of Atlantic City)

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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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