News Articles

Think Income Inequality Is Bad? Retirement Inequality May Be Worse.

The savings gap is a looming crisis, and states aren’t sure how to help.

Mike Maciag

For years, salon owner Luke Huffstutter, of Portland, Ore., wanted to offer his employees a way to save for retirement. Costs  were too steep for the small company, though, and few employees took the initiative to set up 401(k) plans on their own.

This Is What Life Without Retirement Savings Looks Like

Many seniors are stuck with lives of never-ending work—a fate that could befall millions in the coming decades.

CORONA, Calif.—Roberta Gordon never thought she’d still be alive at age 76. She definitely didn’t think she’d still be working. But every Saturday, she goes down to the local grocery store and hands out samples, earning $50 a day, because she needs the money.

Pension fund hits milestone: It's earning more money than it's paying out

For the first time in years, CalPERS is stable enough that it no longer expects to run deficits into the middle of the century.

Though still underfunded, the $345 billion pension fund has a better financial outlook because it’s collecting more money from employers and making the most of recent stock market gains, its chief investment officer said on Monday. That should help it avoid scenarios where it has to sell investment assets to pay pensions.

Cases could open door to pension cuts for California workers

By Jonathan J. Cooper | Associated Press

SACRAMENTO — For decades in California, a sacrosanct rule has governed public employees’ pensions: Benefits promised can never be taken away.

But cases before the state Supreme Court threaten to reverse that premise and open the door to benefit cuts for workers still on the job.

The lawsuits have enormous implications for California cities, counties, schools, fire districts and other local bodies facing a sharp rise in their pension costs.

Count the bad ideas in California pension overhaul proposal

by Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times

Along with taxation and immigration, one political issue that never seems to go away is the cost of public employees, especially their pensions.

Public retirement plans are consistently blamed for local and state budget woes. Any time a community runs into fiscal trouble, its workers are among the first to be demonized, and often bear the brunt of the remedies. After all, pension obligations are typically among the largest liabilities any government entity must bear, so why not hack away?

CalPERS CEO says pension proposal full of problems

By Jon Ortiz, Sacramento Bee 

A proposed ballot measure that would make future pension benefits subject to voter approval is fraught with legal and administrative peril, according to a letter from CalPERS’ chief executive officer, eliciting a response from one of the measure’s proponents that the assessment is a “lie.”