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Teachers and School Districts Agree More Pension Funding Needed

Ed Derman and John Ehnes with Cal STRS address a California State Assembly Committee on Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security.

Today representatives of teachers' associations, school districts, and the state teachers' pension plan spoke at a State Assembly hearing to support reducing the  pension's $71 billion unfunded amount.

Jack Ehnes with the California State Teachers' Retirement System or CalSTRS says if the retirement system is to be fully-funded within 30 years, all of the groups and the State of California must increase contributions by more than $4 billion-per-year.

"Recessions took such a sizeable bite out of the assets of the system or any system like that, you must increase the contributions and usually quickly to change that path."
Jennifer Baker with the California Teacher's Association says membership will support a fair solution that includes the State of California increasing its contribution after years of falling short.

"Having a secure retirement is of paramount value along with the piece of mind it will bring to our current and future members and retirees," Baker says. 
Baker and a representative of the California School Administrators spoke at the  first in a series of Assembly hearings at the California State Capitol Wednesday.

Based on the current value of the fund's assets, Governor Jerry Brown says the shortfall is actually $80 billion.

Together, employers, employees, and state contributions make up about 40-percent of the Cal STRS pension fund. Investments make up the rest.

Cal STRS will develop funding scenarios for all contributors to add $4.2 billion to the fund this year with an increase every year after that.
Today's hearing at the Capitol was the first in a series. The next one could be held within a few weeks.

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