This page outlines how CalSTRS handles pension spiking, what
we’ve done recently to improve our prevention, detection and
resolution of suspected incidents of spiking, and how we intend
to continue improving our capabilities.
CalSTRS takes pension spiking seriously. We have a fiduciary
responsibility to collect and ensure accurate reporting of
compensation. Efforts that improve our ability to aggressively
detect and pursue instances of suspected inappropriate pension
benefit enhancement, known as spiking, are underway.
CalSTRS determines spiking to be the inappropriate enhancement of
the retirement benefit, which most frequently occurs when an
employer pays an excessive increase in compensation to a member
at the end of his or her career. In instances where spiking has
been determined, CalSTRS adjusts benefits to the appropriate
level and collects overpayments in a manner consistent with the
Audits: CalSTRS regularly conducts school
district audits and analyzes employer compensation reports to
identify excessive increases that could enhance a member’s final
pension benefit. This includes an analysis of other risk factors,
such as large amounts of special compensation and inconsistent
pay raises throughout a members’ career. For calendar year 2012,
CalSTRS identified approximately $1,500,000 in benefit
overpayments based upon 19 employer audits.
Compensation Review Unit: In September 2011,
CalSTRS formed an additional, anti-spiking, Compensation Review
Unit (CRU) focused on analyzing individual instances to determine
if compensation changes have resulted in pension spiking. For
calendar year 2012, the CRU reviewed 175 instances and identified
13 individual overpayments totaling $320,000.
Electronic privacy is crucial for the ongoing success of the
Internet as a convenient means to provide customer service. Your
personal information will be used only to conduct CalSTRS-related
WEST SACRAMENTO, CA – The California State Teachers’ Retirement
System (CalSTRS) today announced that, effective January 1, 2014,
CalSTRS Retirement Progress
Reports (RPR) will be available exclusively online, unless a
paper version is requested. The change is enacted under
Assembly Bill 989.