Blog: Plan Perspective

Blog entry Jack Ehnes

Solid Investment Returns Cause for Cautious Optimism

Great news! In June, we posted a solid one year return of 12.2 percent for the CalSTRS investment portfolio, the first positive return in three years. It’s certainly cause to celebrate, and a welcomed sign that steps taken by the CalSTRS board and investments staff to position the fund for ongoing recovery are working.

However, we should celebrate this milestone with cautious optimism, mixed with a dose of perspective.

Blog entry Jack Ehnes

CalSTRS Works to Show the True Facts About Public Educators’ Service and Pay

Just recently, a CalSTRS retiree wrote to me to express his frustration that members’ professionalism and Defined Benefit pension are being tarnished by news reports of some exorbitant pensions and government salaries. He’s witnessing what he describes as ‘private and public slander,’ likely a result of guilt by association with the agencies and local governments currently under public scrutiny.

Blog entry Jack Ehnes

Public Employee Salaries and Retirement Income Make the News

Earlier this month a Sacramento Superior Court judge ruled that Sacramento County’s retirement system must make pension information available to the public, including the names of retirees and how much the system pays them. Publicizing public sector salaries and retiree income has become commonplace, not only in California but nationwide.

Blog entry Jack Ehnes

Free Pizza Can Be Dangerous to Your Financial Health

When I talk with teachers in California about their savings plans for retirement, I am always pleased to hear that many have chosen early in their careers to supplement the CalSTRS defined benefit with retirement savings through a 403b plan. The pre-tax savings of fully participating in such a plan adds significantly towards your retirement goal.

Blog entry Jack Ehnes

Strong Voice for Financial Market Protections

The financial crisis has left deep wounds on families’ finances and continues to wreak havoc on America’s educational system through draconian budgetary actions. Having started to emerge from the crisis with some semblance of stability, the markets have once again shown great volatility in reaction to international events.

In traveling across the state and speaking with teachers about their retirement security, I’ve had audience members frequently ask, is there anything CalSTRS can do as an investor to reduce the likelihood of another crisis?

Blog entry Jack Ehnes

Setting the Record Straight: Part 1

Competing studies about the state of California’s pension systems—including CalSTRS—have received recent media attention. One report by university students made stunning headlines about the state’s pension liabilities based on questionable research. The result was to make the state’s pension liabilities look much worse than they are.

Blog entry Jack Ehnes

Readying CalSTRS for Economic Recovery

This past year the Teachers’ Retirement Fund lost significant value from a high in June 2008. We’re not alone – these have been tough times for everyone. Pension funds and markets worldwide have experienced negative effects due to the international economic crisis.