SACRAMENTO -- For years, problems with California's pension fund for teachers and school employees have been growing. Now a new report says the fund needs an additional $4.5 billion every year -- more than Sacramento spends on both university systems combined -- to stay above water.
Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) told reporters on Thursday that lawmakers can't ignore the growing costs.
"This is a serious issue," he said. "We have to address it."
Steinberg said solutions may include forcing current teachers to contribute a larger share of their paycheck into the pension fund, known as CalSTRS.
School districts, Sacramento and employees are expected to contribute a total of $5.7 billion into the fund during the current fiscal year. About $2.1 billion comes from the employees and $2.2 billion is supplied by the districts, with the state chipping in the balance of $1.4 billion.
The teachers pension fund had an unfunded liability of $73 billion as of June 2012, an increase from $64.5 billion the year before. Without changes, it could run out of money by 2044.