Public Employees Respond to Stanford Report

December 13, 2011

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, December 13, 2011
***For Immediate Release***
Public Employees Respond to Stanford Report

SACRAMENTO – Following is a statement by Dave Low, chairman of Californians for Retirement Security, about the latest so-called study on pensions:

“This so-called academic study is an irresponsible exercise in manipulating numbers and relying on faulty data to support a political agenda. California Common Sense, one of the groups behind this latest attack on public employees, was co-founded by a Tea Party and right-wing former Assembly candidate, and is no more credible than an earlier report by the same group of student researchers that was widely discredited ( See

In its latest hit piece, which also is full of inaccuracies and false assumptions, facts and input from several groups that did not support the study's preset conclusions were roundly ignored.

The state’s largest, internationally respected pension funds are built to weather tough economic times and carry out the promise made to our state’s public employees of a secure retirement. They do not have to invent theoretical mathematical models. The cold, hard facts show that CalPERS earned a 20.7 percent return last fiscal year and an average 8.4 percent return for the last 20 years. CalSTRS rate of return for last fiscal year was more than 21 percent.

The facts also show that modest public employee pension make up a tiny percentage of the state budget. As we watch the dismal news today that our state’s finances continue to crumble and services are cut, it is critical to remember the role that the millions of public employees play in this economy and in providing the very services we are watching devastated. Public employees already have agreed to concessions to cut $600 million in the past two years from pension costs. We challenge you to find another group who has stepped up willingly in such a way to be a part of the solution.”

Californians for Retirement Security is a coalition representing 1.5 million firefighters, teachers, nurses, scientist, engineers, school employees and other public employees across California.