A bill scheduled for a committee hearing today would cap the compensation for two jobs at the California State Teachers' Retirement System at 150 percent of what the governor earns, but the new ceiling is twice what the positions currently earn.
Assembly Bill 1735, which is sponsored by CalSTRS, is in front of the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The measure expands the list of jobs for which the fund's board can set compensation to include chief operating officer and chief financial officer.
The fund says it needs the flexibility to compete for candidates outside of government. The bill caps what CalSTRS board could pay at one-and-a-half times the govenor's salary, currently about $174,000 per year.
"Given the new ceiling of $260,000 per annum, this bill allows CalSTRS to double existing salaries," an Appropriations staff analysis says. "The actual costs will depend on the compensation packages developed by the Teachers' Retirement Board."
CalSTRS says that paying more to get the most-skilled executives will save big bucks because it will be able to hire and hold better-qualified managers who make key business decisions.
The fund has said that it needs an infusion of money to meet its long-term pension obligations. In February, it reported assets of $152 billion, sustaining its pension fund for 856,000 public school teachers and their families in California's 1,600 school districts, county education offices and community college districts.