Blog entry Jack Ehnes

A Message for California’s Educators

When we talk about CalSTRS we’re talking about a financial institution that dates back to 1913. Through the years, the fund has endured many difficult times and changes. This last decade has been particularly turbulent for CalSTRS, but we have never lost sight of our mission to provide a secure retirement to California’s educators.

This year, the Governor and the Legislature made CalSTRS’ financial security a priority by passing Assembly Bill 1469, which enacts a plan to close the CalSTRS funding gap. This landmark legislation funds the Defined Benefit Program through gradual contribution increases shared by the state, CalSTRS members and their employers. It offers a reasonable and sound approach to fully fund the program within 32 years; a methodology consistent with actuarial and accounting principles.

As the author of AB 1469, Assembly Member Rob Bonta, shepherded the bill through several legislative hearings and played a critical role in its process. We sat down to speak with him about this accomplishment and he asked us to share a message with California’s educators.

A Message for California’s Educators

Passage of this bill concludes a decade-long effort to raise awareness of the need to sustain the fund and enact a plan to achieve it. More importantly, the solution proves that defined benefit pension plans are effective and viable when funded properly and invested prudently. With a solid financial plan in place, the fund is on course to fulfill its mission to provide a secure retirement to California’s educators.

More than 100 years ago, the Legislature established the Teachers’ Retirement Fund as a means to provide a secure retirement to the devoted educators of this state, and keeping that promise has been no simple task. CalSTRS commends the Legislature, the Governor and our stakeholders for their leadership in this tremendous accomplishment.

Comments

STRS health for all

I have become increasingly dismayed at the onslaught of charter schools seeking to tap the public educational trust while fostering downscaled teacher requirements, longevity and retirement security. Since these schools wish to be funded through the public trust, why are they not required to contribute to STRS, for their teachers and the good of all. This is particularly poignant in light of charter Principal/CEO's being exceptionally well compensated. I would support a requirement that those being remunerated with public funds must support STRS for the good of teaching, and thereby students and the fund in general.

Thank you for the thoughtful

Thank you for the thoughtful comments. CalSTRS takes its commitment to secure the financial future and sustain the trust of California’s educators seriously.

kudos to STRS

I appreciate the commitment of officers and staff of STRS to the continuing security of the pension system and to their constant vigilance over the Fund. While active teachers will now be responsible for larger contributions, the hope is that increasing salaries will help meet the additional cost of their participation. The health and stability of the Fund is the primary objective and for so long it has been difficult to envision a solid solution. Thank you STRS.

Thank you for the thoughtful

Thank you for the thoughtful comments. CalSTRS takes its commitment to secure the financial future and sustain the trust of California’s educators seriously.

Pension Funding

Sustaining our pension plans without cuts or compromising is not only fair and morally just, but is the most significant plus to being a teacher in a world that rewards administrators at the expense of pay increases. How else can you persuade future talent to consider a job in education? There should be no need to be a "Mother Theresa" in the 21st century United States. Perhaps Finland's educational system presents a more viable alternative to the constant proving the worth of the teaching profession. More than words of appreciation are needed. They are small comfort to retirees. Thank You

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