Friday, May 30, 2008

Assembly passes bill opening CalPERS to private workers

The California Assembly has approved legislation that would allow private-sector employees to save for retirement through programs offered by CalPERS.

The measure, Assembly Bill 2940, calls for the California Public Employees' Retirement System to oversee a separate and voluntary investment program for private workers.

No other state operates such a system, which is designed to assist 6 million Californians – 41 percent of the state's work force – whose employers do not offer a pension or retirement plan.

AB 2940 passed the Assembly, 42-28, and now goes to the Senate. Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger supports the bill, but it received no GOP votes in the Assembly.

Public and private funds would not be commingled in the program. It would be launched only if CalPERS determines it is feasible, federal agencies approve, and start up funds are appropriated in the state budget.

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