Monday, August 31, 2015

Stock plunge also shakes public pensions

Every night before they go to bed, the curators of the CALPERS pension fund pray that the stock market will continue to go up.

Their prayers were not answered.

Ultimately, we need to look to the long term, David Crane told me; a Democrat and one of the state’s top public pension experts, he teaches finance at Stanford University. “What matters is long-term growth and decline, not short-term,” he said. And the long term looks dismal.

He said that, to keep its unfunded liabilities from growing, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System must gain a giant 9.7 percent a year for the foreseeable future. Yet its goal is 7.5 percent. And for fiscal year 2014-15, which ended July 30, it grew by just 2.4 percent.

How big are those unfunded liabilities? Last November, Controller John Chiang (now state treasurer) issued a report. It found CalPERS’ unfunded liabilities had mushroomed to $198.2 billion in 2013 from just $6.3 billion in 2003. The latter year was just the beginning of the pension-spiking the myopic Legislature passed in 1999, but which has now caught up with us.
I predict unfunded liabilities will hit....100%

Will the people of CA finally have their eyes opened to see that they have been complicit in their own doom?


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