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March 18, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
Federal prosecutors in San Francisco indicted former CalPERS Chief Executive Fred Buenrostro and former board member Alfred J.R. Villalobos on Monday afternoon as part of a years-long investigation into possible influence-peddling and corruption. The two former officials of the California Public Employees' Retirement System were charged with fraud and obstruction of justice, according to the U.S. attorney's office in San Francisco. The federal investigation has been probing Villalobos' alleged influence-pedding in winning lucrative contracts for private equity funds that wanted to do business with CalPERS, the country's largest public pension fund.
January 23, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher
 The nation's largest public pension fund, the California Public Employees' Retirement System, posted a low, single-digit return on its $229.5-billion investment portfolio in 2011, Chief Investment Officer Joseph Dear told his board. The giant fund, which provides retirement and other benefits for 1.6 million state and local government employees, saw its portfolio grow by just 1.1% in the calendar year that ended Dec. 31, Dear said at a board meeting in Monterey. During the 2011 calendar year, CalPERS lost 7.95% in public equity investments and earned approximately 12.37% on its private equity investments (through the third quarter)
April 23, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Federal securities regulators sued a former chief executive and a former director of the country's largest public pension fund, accusing them of scheming to defraud an investment firm of more than $20 million in fees. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed the lawsuit Monday against the former CEO, Federico Buenrostro Jr., and the former CalPERS board member, Alfred J.R. Villalobos, alleging that they fabricated documents provided to Apollo Global Management in New York.
February 17, 2011 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
Directors of the California Public Employees' Retirement System endorsed ethics and open-government proposals but put off decisions on stronger measures aimed at avoiding conflicts of interest and self-dealing, issues that have plagued the fund over the last few years. CalPERS wrestled with recommendations from an internal review of operations after it was rocked by claims that it was too cozy with outside investment firms and allowed go-betweens to get exorbitant fees simply for referring deals to many of Wall Street's most powerful private equity, hedge fund and real estate investment managers.
May 23, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO --Adding weight to a growing backlash over alleged corruption in Mexico, the California Public Employees' Retirement System is withholding its support for the election of nineWal-Mart directors. The $228-billion CalPERS fund said it would not support the officers pending "a thorough and independent investigation into the bribery allegations" involving the company's largest foreign subsidiary, Wal-Mart de Mexico. CalPERS' announcement came a day after its smaller cousin, the California State Teachers' Retirement System, said it is opposing the election of all 16 Wal-Mart directors.
August 7, 2013 | By Chad Terhune
A new lawsuit alleges the California Public Employees' Retirement System intentionally misled more than 100,000 policyholders who purchased long-term care insurance from the giant pension fund. This case, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, adds to the growing backlash against CalPERS over its recent decision to hike rates 85% for many of these policies, starting in 2015. CalPERS, which runs the nation's second-largest long-term care plan after one for federal government employees, has said the hefty rate increases are necessary to keep this insurance fund intact for future claims.
November 9, 2009 | Tom Petruno and Stuart Pfeifer
For much of the last decade the California Public Employees' Retirement System cultivated the image of a cutting-edge pension fund -- pouring billions of dollars into potentially lucrative but high-risk investments, hounding companies to rein-in executive pay and championing financial security for government workers. Now, CalPERS finds itself caught in a maelstrom of troubles that threatens its reputation as the gold standard for public pension funds. Slammed by huge investment losses in last year's meltdown of financial markets, the nation's largest public retirement plan faces questions about its long-term ability to make good on the benefits it owes more than 1.6 million workers, retirees and their families.
June 23, 2013 | By Chad Terhune
When the California Public Employees' Retirement System told its Anthem Blue Cross members it would pay only up to $30,000 for a knee or hip replacement surgery, some patients shopped around for a cheaper hospital. What may be more surprising is that about 40 higher-priced hospitals in the state cut their surgery prices significantly to avoid losing patients. That response accounted for about 85% of the $5.5 million CalPERS saved over two years, researchers at UC Berkeley found, with the rest of the savings coming from patients opting for lower-cost hospitals.
February 24, 2013
Re “ CalPERS' long-term care rates to surge ,” Business, Feb. 22 I retired as a college teacher in 2009 and had bought my long-term care policy in the late '90s. I was influenced to get it by two factors: I had watched financial advisor Suze Orman on PBS support long-term care policies as a part of retirement planning, and I had watched my father forced to spend down his modest estate to virtually nothing in order to qualify my dementia-suffering mother to receive nursing home care under Medi-Cal.
August 10, 2011 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
After posting its best annual performance in 14 years, the California Public Employees' Retirement System is giving back a sizable portion of its gains in the drubbing that stocks have taken on Wall Street in the last few weeks. Before Tuesday's big market rebound, the market value of CalPERS' investments had fallen $18 billion, a drop of 7.6% since June 30, leaving the country's largest public pension fund with $220 billion in assets, the fund said. "It's bad, but it's not 2008," CalPERS Chief Investment Officer Joseph Dear said in an interview on CNBC.
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