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Pensions Funds

December 13, 1996 | From Bloomberg Business News
The underfunding of corporate pension funds more than doubled to $64 billion during 1995 because of falling interest rates, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. said Thursday. The gap between pension liabilities and assets rose from $31 billion at the end of 1994 as interest rates dropped to 5.90% for the benchmark 30-year Treasury bond at the end of 1995, from 7.88% a year earlier. Lower interest rates reduce returns pension funds can make on their investments.
March 19, 2014 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO - The longer California's leaders delay shoring up the cash-strapped teacher pension fund, the more money it will cost taxpayers in the long run, according to an analysis presented to lawmakers on Wednesday. If lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown eliminate the fund's $71-billion shortfall over the next 20 years, the extra contributions needed from the state, schools and teachers would total a little more than $180 billion in that time period. But if they put forward a 60-year plan, the total cost would be $622.8 billion.
Six officers of the huge California Public Employees' Retirement System, which invests billions in corporate stocks, bonds and real estate, have warned corporate officials that they face "economic sanctions" if they do not back away from a fight to cut retirement benefits for public employees. The warning was contained in a letter that was said to be causing widespread concern Tuesday among business leaders because of the muscle that CalPERS can wield with its $62.
March 3, 2014 | By Catherine Saillant, Maloy Moore and Doug Smith
Approaching retirement, Ventura County Chief Executive Marty Robinson was earning $228,000 a year. To boost her pension, which would be based on her final salary, Robinson cashed out nearly $34,000 in unused vacation pay, an $11,000 bonus for having earned a graduate degree and more than $24,000 in extra pension benefits the county owed her. By the time she walked out the door last year, her pension was calculated at $272,000 a...
September 28, 1996 | From Reuters
Nearly 17,000 people had $4.8 million credited to their 401(k) retirement plans after employers made use of a grace period to replace funds they had failed to deposit properly, the government said Friday. The Labor Department released data showing that 170 small to mid-size businesses voluntarily returned employee contributions and made good on lost earnings after they were given six months to do so without penalty.
October 24, 1995
We must demand, and hope, that our Congress remain vigilant against corporate raids on employee pension funds (editorial, Oct. 17). Employees do not always get an accounting of funds, as required by law, until the money has been "allocated" to other accounts by the corporations. The beer wholesaler where I worked for 16 years as public relations director eliminated my position seven months ago. I still do not have any of the $87,000 from my corporate profit- sharing fund. The federal law allows for immediate disbursement of one-half the amount owed to an employee.
April 9, 1998
The Los Angeles County government has had a good fiscal thing going in recent years, and it came from an unlikely source: the L.A. County Employees Retirement Assn. This is the huge $24.6-billion pension fund for some 42,000 retirees and roughly 83,000 current workers (a roll that, by the way, makes the county government the biggest employer in Southern California). Now, for a number of reasons, the county will have to reduce its reliance on the pension fund.
January 13, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - California's huge pension fund reported a 16.2% return on its investments in 2013 - its best results in more than a decade. The California Public Employees' Retirement System, which provides benefits to about 1.7 million state and local government workers, retirees and their dependents, said its total investments were worth $282.6 billion as of Friday, the highest ever. Better known as CalPERS, the country's biggest public pension fund was especially helped by the stock market's best year since 1997.
December 7, 2013 | By Alana Semuels
For 34 years, Gwendolyn Beasley worked as a clerk at the Detroit Public Library and paid a portion of her salary into a fund that would someday help pay for her pension. Now retired, Beasley, 67, receives $1,500 a month from that pension. But she's cutting back on spending after a judge ruled last week that Detroit's pension funds, like other city creditors, may have to take a hit as the city reorganizes its finances under bankruptcy. "I think it's so very unfair," Beasley said.
November 8, 2013 | By Paul Pringle
A union leader whose members helped construct Disney Hall, Staples Center and other signature Southern California buildings is under investigation over allegations that he let employers skip payments to workers' health and pension funds, spent dues money on an extramarital affair and retaliated against whistle-blowers. Scott Brain represents about 1,650 workers as head of Cement Masons Union Local 600, based in Bell Gardens. The union is a force in local and state politics as a regular donor to election campaigns.
September 15, 2013 | By Gale Holland
A handful of maids and janitors line up most weeks outside the gleaming Embassy Suites in Irvine to urge visitors to boycott the hotel. But the workers aren't just protesting management - they are also targeting their union brothers and sisters. One of the hotel's largest investors is the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Assn., which manages $41 billion in pension funds for firefighters, sheriff's deputies and other union and nonunion workers. Unite Here Local 11 is seeking to unionize 65 hotel workers and says Embassy Suites is trying to fire those who support the union.
July 19, 2013 | By Richard Simon and Abby Sewell
WASHINGTON - Detroit's historic bankruptcy filing - already thrown into turmoil by a Michigan court Friday - has ignited a largely uncharted legal front in the closely watched battle between public employee unions and governments across the country struggling to meet costly pension obligations. In Detroit, city pension funds sued Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and the city's emergency manager, saying they could not use bankruptcy to reduce the pensions of about 30,000 current and retired workers to help ease the city's $18-billion debt.
June 26, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - Federal prosecutors are stepping up efforts to bring to trial two former officials of the California Public Employees' Retirement System indicted on fraud, conspiracy and obstruction charges. The U.S. attorney in San Francisco wants to move ahead quickly on criminal cases brought against Alfred J.R. Villalobos, a former CalPERS board member and deputy mayor of Los Angeles, and Federico Buenrostro Jr., a former chief executive of the pension fund. To do so, the Justice Department has asked federal and state agencies and judges to delay action on various pending lawsuits involving the two men. A grand jury indicted Buenrostro, 64, of Sacramento and Villalobos, 69, of Reno, Nev., in March.
May 27, 2013 | By Walter Hamilton, Los Angeles Times
The municipal-debt market has always rested on a simple notion - that local governments would do whatever they must to repay borrowed money. Cities wouldn't want to default on their bonds, some of which are owned by their own citizens. And they wouldn't want to alienate Wall Street, which finances many of their civic projects. The bankruptcies of Stockton and San Bernardino have shaken the decades-old faith in that premise, and turned the California cities into closely watched test cases for how municipalities grapple with deep-rooted financial problems.
March 20, 2013 | By Chris Megerian
The pension fund for California teachers and school employees will run out of money by 2044 if lawmakers don't take drastic action, according to a new report from the Legislative Analyst's Office. The report said problems with the pension fund, known as CalSTRS, "may be state's most difficult fiscal challenge. " The costs are massive and growing. The latest estimate pegs the fund's unfunded liability at $73 billion as of June 2012, up from $64.5 billion the year before. "This is more costly the longer we wait," said Ryan Miller of the Legislative Analyst's Office during a hearing Wednesday.
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