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Update to CalPERS Long Term Care (LTC) Rate Increase:
We are now informed that offer letters continue to be sent out based on members’ premium payment schedule. If members with this insurance have not received an offer letter yet, they can call 888 877-4934 to determine if their letter is yet to come. All members with CalPERS LTC insurance should complete the coverage options by the due date in their letter. ALL MEMBERS MUST CONTINUE TO PAY PREMIUMS TO STAY INSURED.
Those members with an option to potentially receive a lumpsum settlement and terminate their CalPERS LTC insurance, should also complete and return the offer letter for their current LTC policy - the lumpsum option is not a certainty yet and members may not want to choose it when/if it becomes final. ALL MEMBERS WITH CalPERS LTC INSURANCE MUST CONTINUE TO PAY PREMIUMS. If the lumpsum settlement becomes a valid option and you accept a lumpsum settlement, that would terminate a member’s CalPERS LTC coverage.
Again, those members of the class action lawsuit who have been informed of the potential lumpsum settlement option, must express interest (to the class action attorneys) in this method of resolving their LTC coverage by September 22, 2021. December 13, 2021 is the final date to elect the lumpsum option. The lumpsum settlement option is not final until the Court declares it is a valid settlement which is expected in December, 2021. The Class Action attorney’s website is: info@CalPERSClassAction.com - phone number is: 866 217-8056
Again, the phone number for CalPERS LTC insurance information is: 888 877-4934
Al Darby, Vice President
BEWARE OF BOGUS BALLOTS! RPEA ENDORSES MARGARET BROWN AND TIFFANY EMON-MORAN for the CalPERS Board.
Margaret Brown (left) and Tiffany Emon-Moran (right) are running for seats B and A respectively. Both candidates are endorsed by the RPEA Board of Directors because of their commitment to transparency in CalPERS affairs and their ability to analyze proposals by CalPERS staff based on their vast managerial experience and educational backgrounds. Without them, the CalPERS Board will lack enough astute members who are leaders on the Board and can guide the Board to more sound decisions on investments and administrative issues and governing decisions. They will not ‘rubber-stamp’ issues that require probing questions and explanations ahead of a final decision. They recognize that the CalPERS trust fund is your money and not that of CalPERS staff or management.
Vice President, Al Darby
CalPERS Secret Lending Bill Fails Under Scrutiny by Senators
Dan Walters’ CalMatters column opposing AB 386
Please read and share Dan Walters’ CalMatters column opposing AB 386, CalPERS’ re-tread of their Secret Lending bill from last year. Dan Walters is a long time Sacramento Bee columnist.
AB 386 proposes an exemption to the California Public Records Act that would allow CalPERS to loan trust fund money without disclosing the borrower’s ownership, the loan terms, or any collateral pledged. Walters agrees with RPEA that this is a dangerous practice for public funds and could invite corruption in the form of sweetheart deals or worse. The chair of the RPEA President’s ad hoc Committee of CalPERS Experts, David Soares, testified before the Judiciary Committee about why this bill is simply an open door to corruption. We are still working to kill the bill in the Assembly. Please leave your comments with the Assembly Appropriations Committee using the LegInfo.ca.gov portal.
RPEA Board Endorses Candidates to CalPERS 2021 Board Election
On June 4, 2021, the RPEA Board heard reports from the Legislative Committee regarding endorsement of candidates for the Fall 2021 Board Election Seat A, who would best represent our goals and mission. Based on the Legislative Committee’s recommendation, the Board voted and approved the endorsement of Tiffany Emon-Moran to CalPERS Member-at-Large Position A. Tiffany Emon-Moran’s bio can be found at https://www.tiffany4calpers.com/.
During the March 21, 2021 Board of Directors Meeting, the RPEA Board endorsed Margaret Brown for the re-election to CalPERS Member-at-Large Position B. Margaret Brown’s bio can be found at https://www.electmargaretbrown.com/.
RPEA Opposes AB 386
CalPERS Funded Status
Recent stock market gains have improved the funded status of CalPERS pension assets to approximately 78%. This is a welcome improvement after several years of weaker funded levels. Rating firms (Moodys, S&P and Fitch) consider public pensions healthy at 80% funded status. Striving for 100% funding remains the goal of any pension fund.
Al Darby, VP
Call for CalPERS President, Henry Jones, to Resign
The Board of Directors of the Retired Public Employees’ Association of California (RPEA) has called for the resignation of Henry Jones, President of the CalPERS Board of Administration. Numerous reasons are cited; lack of transparency, refusal of Board member requests for an emergency meeting to determine the nature of the CIO, Ben Meng’s, abrupt resignation, failure to support investigations into apparent false statements by CalPERS CEO and CFO, poor judgment on several matters and other issues. See the full letter from RPEA to Mr. Jones here.
PRELIMINARY 2021 HEALTH PLAN RATES
Pension Protection Resources
New Report on the Value of Public Pensions. As we know, defined benefit pensions not only provide a secure retirement for our members; they also contribute to economic vitality though the stable income that seniors spend in our communities. Just out this week, NCPERS released a research paper, 2020 Unintended Consequences, that shows that public funds helped power the U.S. economy, generating $179.4 billion more in state and local government tax revenues than plan sponsors contributed to their plans. This report built upon a 2018 report that documented state and national tax revenue generated by public pensions. This is a great update and complement to the often-cited Pensionomics 2018 report, released by NIRS, which found that retirees’ spending of pension benefits in 2016 generated $1.2 trillion in total economic output, supporting some 7.5 million jobs across the U.S.
Our Pensions Are Not the Problem. Not only are our pensions economic drivers, using progressive tax and revenue policy, states have tools to fund them. To highlight the connection between tax policy and pension funding, Good Jobs First released the second installment of its 13-state report, "Putting State Pension Costs in Context." This report found that Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas, and Vermont together spend more than $17 billion per year in corporate development subsidies and tax breaks, which is about five times those states' yearly pension obligations. The first report, released in January 2020, looked at Arizona, Connecticut, Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Wyoming and found that huge tax breaks and other subsidies to corporations also exceeded pension obligations in those states.
A Pension Defense Toolkit. With concerns about pension defense on the rise, we want to share the Public Pension Defense Toolkit from NCPERS, attached, which includes legislative action checklists, state case studies and guidance for media work. Another helpful resource is a 2019 NIRS report, showing that shifting new employees from defined benefit pensions to defined contribution or cash balance plans actually resulted in increased taxpayer costs without any major improvements in funding. The report, Enduring Challenges: Examining the Experiences of States that Closed Pension Plans, draws from case studies in four states that closed their pension plans in favor of alternative plan designs: Alaska, Kentucky, Michigan, and West Virginia.
Additionally, the National Public Pension Coalition, which supports state level pension defense coalitions, has a wealth of pro-pension resources at the ready for states, including videos on pensions and pension opponents, and pension one-pagers and reports.
RPEA Bills in Legislature
“Assemblyman Jim Cooper is carrying two RPEA sponsored bills in the legislature for RPEA. AB2378 would allow CalPERS to add to the existing death benefit an annual increase based on the California Urban Consumer Price Index (CPI). AB3359 would allow the California Urban Consumer Price Index to be used in calculating the annual Cost-0f-Living-Allowance (COLA) most of us see every May - this is a better measure of CPI in California. We will keep you apprised of the progress of these bills. We hope to interject two other matters into the legislative process this year as well. Great thanks to our Legislative Committee and Aaron Read and Pat Moran, our lobbyists, and especially Assemblyman Jim Cooper.”
Two RPEA Sponsored Bills
“Assemblyman Jim Cooper is carrying two RPEA sponsored bills in the legislature for RPEA. One raises the CalPERS Death Benefit to $5,000 and the other one calls for the ‘CA Index’ to be the Cost Of Living Allowance (COLA) determiner. We will keep you apprised of the progress of these bills. We hope to interject two other matters into the legislative process this year as well. Great thanks to our Legislative Committee and Aaron Read and Pat Moran, our lobbyists, and especially Assemblyman Jim Cooper.”
Breaking News: "Answer to CalPERS China Investment Questions"
"China investments by CalPERS have been in the news lately and it is suggested that this is somehow supporting Chinese military objectives and this is not in the best interest of the U.S. The truth is that CalPERS investments in China have actually been declining in recent years and now stands at 1% of its stock portfolio or about $2 billion. These claims in certain news outlets that CalPERS is contributing to Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property are probably largely inaccurate. U.S. companies with factories in China are more likely to be inadvertently giving up more intellectual property than CalPERS ever could through its stock holdings in China. Most pension funds around the country are invested in China along with CalPERS."