The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

April 11, 2013
Analysis recommends CalPERS oppose member mailing-list bill

CalPERS staff will recommend next week that the fund's board oppose a measure that would make its retiree-address data available to outside groups for non-political mailings.

A scathing analysis prepared for next week's board meeting concludes that Assembly Bill 785 is contrary to the board's current policy on mailing information to annuitants, diminishes the board's authority and "creates legal, financial and information security risks for the System."

The measure, authored by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, requires CalPERS to give mailing information to third party direct-mail vendors at the request of groups that represent CalPERS' retiree members. The groups would then use the vendors to mail materials to the retirees. Once the mailers went out, the mailing lists would be destroyed.

A (highly unscientific) poll on this blog shows that 94 percent of those who responded think the bill is a bad idea.

Weber says AB 785 merely aims to educate retirees and that it has built-in cost and security requirements that would repay CalPERS for the cost of servicing the member groups and protect members' personal information.

The analysis counters that about $205,000 in annual administrative costs wouldn't be recouped and that mishandled information would expose the fund to risk of litigation.

Worth noting: AFSCME, which is sponsoring the measure, "previously requested CalPERS to provide names and addresses for a direct mailing under conditions similar to those proposed in this bill and CalPERS did not approve the organization's request," according to the analysis.

RELATED:
The State Worker: Union pushes bill to get CalPERS' mailing list
Poll: Should state open CalPERS' mailing list to interest groups?

130415 Calpers Item 5c by jon_ortiz

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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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