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Stanford Report Calls For Pension Reforms

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The report is by the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. It says the cost to the state of delaying pension solutions is quickly adding up.

"Everyday that we don't solve this problem costs us $3.4 million."

Joe Nation is a Stanford Professor who wrote the report. He's also a former Democratic California State Assemblyman. The study covers California's three largest pension systems: CalPERS, CalSTRS and the University of California Retirement Plan.

Nation says state lawmakers need to step up and approve serious pension reforms. 

"That will mean that we'll have to contribute more to these pension systems right now. But that will save us money in the long run."

CalPERS and CalSTRS say the Stanford report relies on outdated data and methodologies that are out of sync with government accounting rules.

In response to the Stanford report, California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer has resigned from a pension advisory panel of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

A letter from Lockyer's office to the Institute questions both the methodology and the conclusions of the report. The letter says the Institute's acronym ought to stand for "Stanford Institute to Eviscerate People's Retirement." 

And it complains that neither Lockyer nor the public pension systems under review were provided copies in time to respond before the release.

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