The Blog

Where We Stand: Educators Support Finding Solutions to CalSTRS Unfunded Liability

As the governing board of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) begins its two-day meeting today, our CTA members will be among those expressing the organization’s ongoing commitment to work with the pension system and other stakeholders to ensure its long-term viability.

A great deal is happening in Sacramento on a key issue affecting the public pension system and its members, the issue of “unfunded liability.”

At its root, the issue involves how much funding the system must have in the long term to cover the costs of providing benefits to its current and future retirees.  The issue is a crucial one for educators, who rely  solely on CalSTRS pensions because they are not able to earn Social Security benefits as school district employees.

Teachers are committed to working with CalSTRS, the governor, the legislature, and others to find a long-term solution to the challenge in a system that has served its members well since 1913. The solution must include full participation of all three funding sources – educators, employers, and the state.

Among the recent actions:

  • The governor pledged that he will be convening stakeholders to address the unfunded liability for CalSTRS this year so that the problem isn’t exacerbated.
  • Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Public Employees and Retirement Chair Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) recently told reporters at a Capitol news conference that the Assembly will begin a series of hearings on the problem, with the first to be held on Feb. 19.  The two lawmakers said the legislators are committed to finding solutions to the problems this year.  They said all options are on the table, except the “ostrich” option that would involve ignoring the problem.

CTA has extensive information about CalSTRS and the unfunded liability on our web site.

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