Thursday, November 13, 2008

CalPERS head defends public pensions

Government pension plans continue to provide a good deal for taxpayers despite current difficulties, according to CalPERS board president Rob Feckner.

In a comment piece in Californian newspaper The Sacramento Bee, Feckner said every time the stock market suffered a major setback, those who didn't fully understand how government pensions worked started sounding alarm bells that the cost of government pensions would be driven up.

He added: “[Traditional pension plans] are an extremely cost-effective way of providing decent retirement benefits to public employees, with three out of four dollars paid in CalPERS benefits coming from investment earnings, not taxpayers.

“And remember that public servants pay into the pension fund, too - without fail. The average CalPERS retiree receives an annual pension benefit of just under $24,000. Many do not receive Social Security.”

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