CALPERS Off $81 Billion


Like every other pension fund or endowment, we knew it was off big, but still, the numbers are pretty staggering:

San Francisco Chronicle: The California Public Employees’ Retirement System portfolio has lost 31.1 per cent of its value since peaking last fall, a staggering $81.4 billion drop. CalPERS officials say a “rainy day fund” is helping to defray the losses – for now. But if the market slump continues, they will hit up state and local employers for more money. That’s a painful prospect as California struggles through a fiscal emergency and municipalities cope with the foreclosure crisis and economic downturn.

The good news for the 1.6 million CalPERS retirees, workers and family members is that their pension benefits are guaranteed.

What they mean by “guaranteed” is that any pain from the decline won’t be borne by the retirees… No, they get to spread the pain around to non-state employee taxpayers, who will foot the difference. This comes at a time when California faces a regular budget deficit of $28 billion.

(via Pension Tsunami)