US - California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has put plans to reform the state's pension system on hold due to concern over the affect the proposal could have on some public employees' death and disability benefits.
Schwarzenegger said he would not push for a statewide vote this year on part privatisation of the state’s public pension funds, but warned he would take the reform proposal to the ballot in June next year if legislators fail to reach a compromise on the issue.
He cited concern from police, fire fighters and other public safety and local government employees that the proposal would see them lose their death and disability benefits.
Schwarzenegger said he and Assemblyman Keith Richman, who put forward the proposal in the legislature, would work together to craft new and improved language for the plan.
“While this will be a delay for our initiative, I am hopeful that refining the language to protect death and disability benefits will spark a whole new fresh start in the legislature,” he said.
Rob Feckner, president of the US$182bn California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), applauded Schwarzenegger’s decision to delay the proposal.
“I am pleased that the governor has seen the light,” he said. “We now hope a truly constructive solution can be forged that will maintain the strength and integrity of our retirement system, protect the pensions of our members and help minimise taxpayer expense.”
The California State Employees Association also threw its support behind the move.
“[Schwarzenegger’s] scheme to switch public employees to a riskier 401(k) pension plan was shortsighted and unnecessary,” said president J.J. Jelincic.
“We are pleased that he finally recognised that the ill-conceived initiative could have taken away death and disability benefits from the families of police and fire fighters.
“While the immediate threat is over, we recognise that this initiative by the governor was part of an ongoing national campaign by the right-wing to privatise social security and public employee pensions. That’s why we must – and we will – remain vigilant.”
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and Labour MP Stephen Kinnock and will listen to the experiences of steelworkers when transferring their pensions away from the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) next week in Port Talbot.
Just Group has acquired a 75% stake in the holding company of Corinthian Pension Consulting in a bid to strengthen its professional defined benefit (DB) advisory services.
The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has exercised its production order power under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 for the very first time as part of a fraud investigation.
The ITN Limited Pension Scheme has named Trafalgar House as its administrator for an initial term of five years.