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CalSTRS Statement on CFFR Pension Study

The study issued May 5, 2011 by the California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility (CFFR) poses some potential concerns for CalSTRS members.

CalSTRS staff was not asked to provide any input to the study and is reviewing it to more completely understand its methodology.

The study acknowledges that the CalSTRS defined benefit is more modest than most in the state, covering, on average, 60 percent of members’ pre-retirement income. However, the study’s sponsors still recommend changes which would seem to reduce the retirement security of CalSTRS members without necessarily reducing costs to members and employers. In addition, there are some aspects of the study’s sponsor’s recommendations that contradict longstanding constitutional and case law protections.

CalSTRS continues to emphasize that a one-size-fits-all approach is not an effective way to address our funding issues, particularly given the unique needs of CalSTRS members, who do not receive Social Security and mostly do not receive employer-provided health insurance after age 65. When CalSTRS completes its analysis of the CFFR study, we will be better able to comment on its sponsor’s recommendations.

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