WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Dec. 12, 2017) – The California State Teachers’ Retirement System today announced that Pensions & Investments magazine has named it a Best Place to Work in Money Management for 2017. This year’s honor is the third CalSTRS has garnered—the only public pension plan to do so.
Requires the CalSTRS and CalPERS boards to report, on or before April 1, 2018, to the Legislature and the Governor regarding investments in, and engagement with, companies constructing, or funding the construction of, the Dakota Access Pipeline. The bill also states the intent of the Legislature that the boards review and consider factors related to tribal sovereignty and indigenous tribal rights as part of the boards’ investment policies related to environmental, social and governance issues.
Version: Chaptered (Chapter 575, Statutes of 2017)
Prohibits the CalSTRS and CalPERS boards from making additional or new investments or renewing existing investments in any company that contracts or subcontracts to build, maintain or provide material for President Trump’s Border Wall. Requires the CalSTRS and CalPERS boards to engage with, and to liquidate their investments in, such a company within 12 months of the company contracting or subcontracting to provide work or material for a border wall. The bill also requires the boards, by January 1, 2019, to report to the Legislature any investment actions related such companies, subject to the fiduciary duty of these boards and indemnifies board members, officers, employees and contracting investment managers for actions related to the bill.
Prohibits the CalSTRS and CalPERS boards from making additional or new investments or renewing existing investments in any investment vehicle issued, owned, controlled or managed by the government of Turkey, and requires divestment from those investments within six months of the passage of a federal law imposing sanctions on Turkey, subject to the fiduciary duty of the boards. Requires the boards, within one year of the passage of such a federal law, to report to the Legislature any investments in a Turkish investment vehicle and the sale or transfer of those investments, subject to the fiduciary duty of the boards. Also indemnifies present, former and future board members, officers and employees of and investment managers under contract with those retirement systems for actions related to the bill.
Prohibits a government employer from enhancing new government employee defined benefit plan benefits, enrolling a new government employee in a defined benefit pension plan or paying more than one-half of the total cost of retirement benefits for new government employees without approval by the voters of the applicable jurisdiction. Also prohibits retirement boards from imposing fees or other financial conditions on a government employer that proposes to close a defined benefit pension plan to new members without approval by voters of the applicable jurisdiction or the sponsoring government employer.
Among the proposed reforms, CalSTRS is affected by the provisions that create the Citizen’s Pension Oversight Committee to advise the CalSTRS and CalPERS boards; further define “normal monthly rate of pay or base pay” for CalSTRS 2% at 60 members; increase the final compensation period for new members on or after January 1, 2018, to at least 60 consecutive months; prohibit public retirement systems from making cost-of-living adjustments to benefits when the unfunded actuarial liability of either CalSTRS or CalPERS is greater than zero; and stipulate the applicable benefit structure for new members who leave employment with, and then are reemployed by, an employer participating in CalSTRS.
Requires the CalSTRS and CalPERS boards to consider the “financial climate risk,” as defined, in their management of any funds they administer. Also requires, by January 1, 2020, and annually thereafter, the boards to include the “financial climate risks” of their investments and their related engagement, as specified, in their comprehensive annual financial reports.
Version: Amended 4/17/2017
Sponsors: Environment California, Fossil Free California
Permits a government employer to reduce retirement benefits that are based on work not yet performed by an employee regardless of the date that the employee was first hired, notwithstanding other provisions of the California Constitution or any other law. Also prohibits the measure from being interpreted to permit the reduction of retirement benefits that a public employee has earned based on work that has been performed.
Prohibits a government employer from providing public employees any retirement benefit increase, as defined, until that increase is approved by a two-thirds vote of the electorate of the applicable jurisdiction and that vote is certified.
Makes significant changes to laws governing class action lawsuits, including prohibiting class certification unless “each class member has suffered the same type and scope of injury.” Among other provisions, also limits the amount and timing of attorney’s fees and allows defendants to automatically appeal class certifications.
Repeals the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) of the Social Security Act. These provisions reduce or eliminate any Social Security benefits that California educators may have earned through other employment or are eligible for through a spouse.
Version: 2/21/2017 and 4/24/2017, respectively
Location: House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee, respectively
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