CalSTRS reports $64 billion deficit

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 6B
Last Modified: Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 - 7:42 am

The trust fund that provides pensions to the state's retired teachers has a $64 billion deficit and would need a $4.5 billion-per-year infusion of revenue to become fully solvent, according to a new internal study.

The California State Teachers' Retirement System produced the report in response to a legislative resolution.

Its release came just days after the Legislature's budget analyst, Mac Taylor, indirectly chided Gov. Jerry Brown for ignoring "huge unfunded liabilities associated with the teachers' retirement system and state retiree health benefits" in his new budget.

STRS receives money from the state, from local school districts and from teachers themselves, but is also highly dependent on investment earnings, which were clobbered during the recent recession. And while its larger cousin, the California Public Employees' Retirement System, has the power to take money from the state treasury as it sees fit, STRS must receive specific appropriations from the Legislature.

While fully funding teacher pensions would require $4.5 billion more a year – excluding projected investment earnings – the system says in its report that the burden would be eased by setting lower funding targets and/or stretching out contributions.

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Read more articles by Dan Walters



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