Ask Jack Jack Ehnes

Can you explain what CalSTRS is doing about reports of pension spiking?

CalSTRS takes pension spiking very seriously, which is why we have, and continue to aggressively pursue instances of suspected spiking. Our internal controls and processes to identify and resolve instances of spiking include regularly conducting school district audits and analyzing employer compensation reports to identify excessive increases that could affect the member’s final compensation factor.

To underscore our commitment to detecting and preventing pension spiking CalSTRS has formed a dedicated anti-spiking Compensation Review Unit and implemented an anonymous toll-free Pension Abuse Reporting hotline. The Compensation Review Unit is specifically focused on analyzing individual cases to determine if compensation changes have resulted in pension spiking.

In addition to these newly strengthened efforts, by the very nature of the CalSTRS comprehensive hybrid plan design, annual compensation for most members adheres to strict salary schedules which are established through collective bargaining. When members receive summer school compensation and other extra-pay assignments as part of their established duties, this compensation is credited to a cash balance account and does not figure into final compensation, a factor used in establishing pension benefits.

You can anonymously report suspicions of pension abuse to CalSTRS by calling the toll-free Pension Abuse Reporting Hotline at 855-844-2468 or by completing the online form at www.CalSTRS.com.

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