US - The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) Board of Administration has adopted a 12-point set of federal legislative policy priorities to help underscore its commitment to preserving defined benefit plans.
The $234bn fund said the priorities would serve as a road map for advancing its federal governmental goals on retirement and outline its positions on retirement benefits, funding and accountability of pension plans, and Social Security.
"Our defined benefit plan has served as the foundation for a secure retirement for more than three quarters of a century," said Rob Feckner, president of the CalPERS Board of Administration. "Preserving defined benefit plans for workers is critical to ensuring the longevity of America's retirement system."
CalPERS priorities call for the pension plan to support:
•Defined benefit retirement plans that provide income replacement in retirement through shared employee and employer responsibility
•Expanded opportunities for workers to have access to a defined benefit pension plan
•Tax policies that encourage preservation of pension plans and retirement savings accounts by allowing deferral of taxation of contributions and earnings until benefits are paid in retirement
•Policies that ensure the highest level of integrity and accountability in the administration of supplemental retirement accounts and elements such as fee disclosures
•Policies that report public pension liabilities that reflect the long-term nature of public employee retirement plans
•Accounting standards that preserve the link between accounting and funding such as portfolio diversification, smoothing of investment gains and losses and managing growth of liabilities to minimize contributions volatility, including support of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board
"The financial crisis has led many to question whether the American dream of a secure retirement has vanished," said George Diehr, vice president of the CalPERS Board. "Dismantling defined benefit plans or imposing unreasonable mandates will only further erode confidence in America's retirement system."
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