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CalPERS to Postpone Searchable Retired Pensioner Database

Calls for Increased Pension Transparency Tabled In Lieu of Legislation

July 17, 2013
The California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS) decided to postpone posting a new online database containing state retiree pension information after announcing plans to reveal the database sometime last week.
A previously released agency notice on July 8 indicated that the following information would be available online:      
  • Name of pensioner;
  • Monthly gross warrant;
  • Base allowance;
  • Cost of Living Adjustment;
  • Years of services;
  • Retirement data;
  • Benefit formula;
  • Final compensation; and
  • Last employer.
The announcement was initially praised by pension critics and government transparency groups that have been calling for more publically available information. As more light and attention was brought to the database, however, reports circulating suggested concerns from current and retired pensioners began pressuring CalPERS to postpone the database from going live. Just days after the original announcement, CalPERS released a follow-up statement  explaining the agency would no longer pursue the database. CalPERS explained the database would be postponed in order to allow for “legislation…by various retiree organizations … limit[ing] what retiree data is publicly releasable under law” to be introduced.
Similarly cities and counties are currently required by law to report public employee compensation data to the State Controller’s Office for posting in an online database. CA Cities Advocate reported on an update to this database. Please see “Controller Updates Online Government Compensation Database," CA Cities Advocate, Dec. 16, 2011. Cities are not currently required to submit retiree information. The League will update members on any changes in policy.

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