News Articles

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

March 2, 2018

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.

Retirement Security in California: An Update

March 1, 2018

Numerous media outlets are reporting on the issue of pensions, fueled by increases in outlays
for future pension payments by municipal governments as well as school districts. These stories
are reigniting the debate about the sustainability of California’s pension system. It comes
after multiple failed attempts over the past seven years to put a measure on the ballot and
break promises to public employees about their retirement security. These attacks were led by
failed former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, Enron billionaire John Arnold and extremist right

This Is What Life Without Retirement Savings Looks Like

February 22, 2018

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.

Wall Street caused pension crisis, not cops and firefighters

February 18, 2018

Special to The Bee

If there’s one thing the debate over public employees’ pensions has taught us, it’s that California needs to invest more in mathematics instruction. When The Sacramento Bee editorial board (“The pension nightmare for California’s cities is getting scarier,” Feb. 13) and city officials wag their fingers of blame at firefighters, teachers, police officers and state pension systems that have yielded 7 percent returns in the long run, it’s clear there’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the numbers.

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

February 13, 2018

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

December 28, 2017

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.