CalSTRS Responds to Revised Budget Plan
May Revision provides long-term funding for CalSTRS

Statement Gretchen Zeagler

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) Chief Executive Officer Jack Ehnes issued the following statement in response to Governor Brown’s release of the revised 2014-15 budget proposal:

“We applaud the proposed revision to the Governor’s Budget that fully funds the Defined Benefit Program in approximately 30 years in a manner that shares the responsibility among all parties and respects the contractual rights of California’s educators. The revised budget proposal released today reflects the significant efforts of the Administration, legislators, and affected stakeholders who have worked together to develop a funding solution for CalSTRS. As this proposal demonstrates, closing the Defined Benefit Program’s nearly $74 billion funding gap can be resolved through gradual and predictable contribution increases, and the sooner those increases begin, the less risk to the state. Clearly, state policymakers understand this urgency, and through the leadership of the Legislature and the Governor, we are encouraged that a funding plan will be enacted this year. 

“A funding plan that achieves full funding within the proposed timeframe is the definitive approach consistently supported by the CalSTRS board. A recent report from the Legislative Analyst’s Office echoes this view. The Governor’s actions demonstrate that he is not only concerned with protecting the state’s fiscal future but also that of California’s educators. CalSTRS will continue to support the efforts of the Legislature and the Governor as they work to bring a funding plan to fruition.”

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, with a portfolio valued at $183.3 billion as of March 31, 2014, is the largest educator-only pension fund in the world. CalSTRS administers a hybrid retirement system, consisting of traditional defined benefit, cash balance and voluntary defined contribution plans. CalSTRS also provides disability and survivor benefits. CalSTRS serves California’s 868,000 public school educators and their families from the state’s 1,600 school districts, county offices of education and community college districts.