By John Fensterwald
California school districts won’t have to wait an extra year to get nearly $1 billion in one-time funding, as Gov. Jerry Brown proposed last month. And after-school and summer program providers will see their first funding increase in more than a decade, under the terms of the 2017-18 state budget that legislative leaders and the Brown administration negotiated last week.
The Legislature must pass the proposed $126 billion state budget by Thursday to meet a constitutional deadline. Schools and community colleges will get a sizable share of the funding increase. Funding under Proposition 98, the formula that determines K-12 and community colleges’ share of state revenue, will rise $3.1 billion – 4.4 percent – to $74.5 billion. School districts’ share of the increase will be $2.8 billion.
Source: Gov. Brown agrees not to hold back money from California schools next year | EdSource
By Ryan McCarthy
Getting off the “Titanic” will cost more than staying aboard.
Fairfield Councilwoman Pam Bertani supplied the description of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, and consultant John Bartel provided the cost analysis.
The city’s pension costs will climb yearly for the next decade until they’re projected to reach $37.5 million annually, Bartel’s study for Fairfield said.
“This is a bad deal. This is a very bad deal,” Bertani said. “We can’t afford it.”
Source: Exiting CalPERS ‘extremely expensive,’ Fairfield council told
By Todd R. Hansen
Solano County has been diligent, even innovative, in its effort to reach a policy goal of funding 90 percent of its pension costs, county officials said.
However, a decision in December by the state Public Employees’ Retirement System’s board of administration to lower the discount rate from 7.5 percent to 7 percent over three years – an impact that will first be felt by the county in the 2018-19 fiscal year – could ultimately mean a reduction in programs, services and workforce.
The county, which had funded 76 percent of its pension liabilities, is going to slip to 72 percent and its annual costs will go up higher and faster than had been projected, officials said Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors meeting.
Source: CalPERS action a setback for Solano pension efforts
By Richard Bammer
Travis Unified leaders heard a sobering account Tuesday of how Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest state budget may affect the Fairfield school district, with a finance official pointing out several caution-worthy variables, including inflation, capital gains, and per-pupil funding.
But perhaps most significantly for the district’s bottom line in the coming years are employee pension costs, said Ken Forrest, chief business officer for the 5,100-student district.
Like other California districts, Travis faces increased employee and employer contributions to the state teachers (CalSTRS) and state employee (CalPERS) retirement systems.
via Employee pension obligations worry Travis school district officials.
By Richard Bammer
The first interim budget, and facilities, enrollment and CalPERS updates are on the agenda when Kairos Public School Vacaville Academy leaders meet tonight.
Anita Schwab, chief business official for the independent charter school, will update the seven-member board on the first interim budget report for the 2015-16 school year.
Such reports are required by state law and, in accord with the general custom and practice of school districts statewide, they must be presented to school boards no later than mid-December, then certified no later than 45 days afterward.
As required by law, Schwab also will include multiyear projections in her report. Schwab will tell the board that 2015-16 budget revenues are $4.12 million, with a $1.3 million ending balance and $186,000 in a prudent reserve, or about 5 percent of the overall budget. Projected budgets are $3.76 million for 2016-17; $3.88 million for 2017-18; and nearly $4 million for 2018-19, according to agenda documents.
via Interim budget, CalPERS update on Kairos agenda tonight.
Over half of new teachers won’t meet the minimum vesting or service requirements to receive a pension. One common response is that these teachers are allowed to receive a refund on their contributions plus interest, and that the refund is comparable to private sector workers who receive a 401k. It’s a good point, but it’s not exactly the case for all teachers.
While it’s true a teacher can get a refund on her pension contributions plus interest in some states, like California, in other states, like Illinois, teachers do not receive interest. In fact, in Illinois, teachers receive less than their original employee contributions. An Illinois teacher is required to contribute 9.4 percent of her paycheck to the state teachers’ retirement system. Upon leaving the classroom, however, she is only entitled to a refund equal to 8.4 percent of her earnings. And, in the majority of states, teachers do not receive any portion of their employer’s contributions.
via Eduwonk » Blog Archive » Are Pension Refunds the Same as a 401k?.
By Barry Eberling
Solano County expects changes to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System to raise annual county retirement costs from $31.8 million today to $56.1 million by the end of the decade.
Of this, the general fund portion is expected to rise from $8.8 million to $18.5 million. CalPERS is making the changes to take into account that retirees are living longer and to smooth out contribution rate volatility, among other reasons.
Solano County’s unfunded liability for retirement as of June 2012 – the amount the county is estimated to be short to pay its long-term retirement obligations – is $417 million. However, the required accounting system includes state court employees, perhaps inflating the amount by about $28 million, a county report said.
via Solano County looks at rising retirement costs Daily Republic.
SACRAMENTO (AP) — The nation’s largest public pension fund announced Monday that it will post data online about nearly half a million pensioners in an effort to be transparent.
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System will launch a searchable pension database with information that is deemed public, such as a retiree’s name, monthly gross pension payment and some employment history, said spokeswoman Amy Norris.
via CalPERS to post pensioners’ data online – The Reporter.
David Crane, a businessman who advised former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on financial matters – particularly long-term public pension deficits – recently wrote an I-told-you-so piece for the Bloomberg news service about the State Teachers Retirement System.
He and others had postulated last year that if voters approved the sales and income tax hike being sought by Gov. Jerry Brown, they would see the money disappear into CalSTRS, rather than into classroom instruction, as Brown, et al., insisted.
via Dan Walters: California Legislature ignoring teacher pension gap.
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System has reported – with no small elation – that it has recouped virtually all of the $95 billion in investment losses it sustained during the global financial crisis.
A steadfast investment strategy and a generally rising stock market are responsible for the recovery, CalPERS says.
via Dan Walters: California pension funds still face huge liabilities.
By Louis Freedberg
Less than a day after the California teachers pension fund threatened to withdraw its investment, a major private equity firm has announced that it will sell Freedom Group, a company it formed that includes the manufacturer of the rifle used by Adam Lanza to massacre 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.
Cerberus Capital Management is owned by billionaire Stephen Feinberg, who is a gun enthusiast and whose father happens to live in Newtown. Bushmaster, which produced the AR-15 semi-automatic weapon reportedly used by Lanza, was one of six gun companies that Cerberus had bought and consolidated into Freedom Group.
via California teachers retirement fund threat triggers sale of gun company – by Louis Freedberg.