CalPERS Sets Up Pension Debate Information Center

The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) announced this week a special Web resource on proposals to privatize State and public agency pensions.
"The Pension Debate Information Center" is intended to educate CalPERS members on existing programs and possible changes.

The proposals call for an end to the traditional defined benefit pensions for employees hired as of July 1, 2007. New employees would be placed in defined contribution plans that cap employer contributions and let employees invest in 401(k)-type pension funds. Under proposed legislation, existing public employees would remain in the present program, which guarantees retirement allowances set by formulas and financed mainly by returns on CalPERS investments.

The Governor also proposes in his 2005-06 budget an option that would allow present State employees to opt out of the CalPERS defined benefits program or keep their money on deposit, in which case the State would pay employees an extra stipend equal to what the State normally would have paid on their behalf. He further proposes that employees who remain in CalPERS double their contributions to the pension fund.

"We have received many member and employer requests for information about this topic. This new Web resource -- the Pension Debate Information Center -- will help our members stay abreast of developments and get information from CalPERS experts and others outside the System," said Robert Walton, CalPERS Assistant Executive Officer, Governmental and Administrative Services.

The Pension Debate Information Center includes research papers, fact sheets, CalPERS documents, and comparative studies of defined benefits and defined contribution plans.

To use the resource, visit www.calpers.ca.gov, select "About CalPERS," and "Pension Debate Information Center" under the "What's New" link.

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