Chief Executive Officer Cassandra Lichnock shared several organizational awards and honors for CalSTRS with the board as part of her CEO Report.
CalSTRS’ Annual Comprehensive Financial Report for the 2021–22 fiscal year received the Certification of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada.
This certificate of achievement is the highest form of recognition in government accounting and affirms a report is easily readable and efficiently organized. It's the 28th consecutive year CalSTRS has been honored.
Lichnock's report to the board included the following other highlights:
- The GFOA also gave CalSTRS its Award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Annual Financial Reporting for the Popular Annual Financial Report. This prestigious national award recognizes conformance with the highest standard for the preparation of state and local government popular reports and confirms the contents conform to the program's standards of creativity, presentation, understandability and reader appeal. It is the ninth consecutive year CalSTRS has received this award.
- CalSTRS also earned GFOA's Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for CalSTRS 2023–24 Annual Budget Report. The award affirms that CalSTRS' report was prepared in accordance with GFOA standards and guidelines, which are best practices for governmental financial and budgetary reporting. This is the sixth consecutive year CalSTRS has earned this honor.
- In an update to the Supplemental Benefit Maintenance Account, Lichnock reported that no new members fell below the 85% purchasing power threshold to begin receiving SBMA payments in fiscal year 2023–24. Purchasing power is a measurement of how benefits keep pace with inflation. For example, if a retiree’s benefit amount stays the same, but the cost of items doubles, the purchasing power is only 50% of what it was originally. SBMA quarterly payments provide inflation protection to CalSTRS retirees and their beneficiaries to help them maintain 85% of a member's initial retirement allowance. Although inflation was 3.1% in fiscal year 2022–23, it was not enough to trigger the additional payments. CalSTRS assumes a long-term inflation rate of 2.75%, much of which is covered by a simple 2% benefit adjustment every September.