CalPERS - Explained
What is CalPERS?
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Table of ContentsWhat is CalPERS?What are the Characteristics of CalPERS?History of CalPersCalPERS InvestmentsAcademic Research on CalPERS
What is CalPERS?
CalPERS can be described as an acronym for the California Public Employees' Retirement System. CalPERS is a Californian agency that is saddled with the responsibility of managing health and pension benefits for public employees and retirees in California. CalPERS provides a lot of benefits to over 1.9 million people in California. Part of the numerous benefits that Calpers offer to public employees, retirees and their families in California are death benefits, health insurance, pension plans, mortgage plans, long-term health care insurance, retirement benefits and other financial benefits.
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What are the Characteristics of CalPERS?
The health and pension benefits of about 1.9million of the california population are managed by CalPERS. Employees and retirees of public agencies, schools and state-owned organizations in California are catered for by the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS). A recent research done in 2018 revealed that more than $350 billion of assets are managed by CalPERS, this is why it is recognized as the largest public pension in the United States. Although, not every county participates in CalPERS but as 2018, about 3000 employers which comprises of 1,300 school districts and 1,500 public agencies were already members of CalPERS. CalPERS provides health and retirement compensation for public employees, retirees and family members. CalPERS considers the age of retirees, their useful years of service and last salary earned when calculating the retirement compensation for workers. Hence, the formula for retirement compensation vary from employers to employers. The health benefits that employees receive is determined by the nature of health plans offered by the employers. Inclusion of family members in the health benefit is also determined by the available health plans.
History of CalPers
Before the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) was known, it was first named as the State Employees Retirement System which began in 1932. By 1939, the State Employees Retirement System covered school districts, counties and cities. When it was changed to CalPERS in 1992, health and pension benefits were included in the program.
CalPERS invests funds in foreign and local markets with the aim of realizing profits and achieving desired changes in the companies in which it invests. The financial performance and corporate governance practises of companies that CalPERS investments invest in are published annually in a publication called Focus List. Companies that are listed on the Focus list experience a significant turnaround through a concept known as the CalPERS effect. CalPERS has a significant influence in the companies it invests in such as moving the resignation of an executive, filing lawsuits against erring groups, and others.