US - The California Retired Teachers Association (CRTA) responded to Governer Scharzenegger's State of the State address by saying it would "fight for fair pensions" if neccessary.
The Governor had last week asked the Legislature to work with him on moving forward with pension reform.
The CRTA leadership said: “We recognise that we must be financially prepared to fight for fair pensions and against any unfair pension proposal similar to those made last year.”
The CRTA added it did not anticipate there would be a new ballot proposal for the 2006 elections, but said the Governor’s comments clearly indicated he had not given up on this issue.
The CRTA said it had also set about establishing a Political Action Committee to acquire the resources needed to protect their pensions.
“To wait until there is a proposal on the ballot is to wait too long. That is why even though CRTA does not anticipate a ballot proposition fight we are starting the PAC to be prepared for the future.”
Last year, Governor Schwarzenegger proposed reducing pension costs by dismantling the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) and State Teachers’ Retirement System (STRS) - which have a combined portfolio of nearly US$300bn - and replacing them with DC programmes . That proposal was heavily opposed by public sector pension funds, and came to nothing after Schwarzenegger was defeated in the 2005 special election.
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