Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sustainable Pensions

It's not news that pension funds nationwide have taken a beating, and face tall challenges if they are to meet the overly-optimistic commitments which have been made.
As a retiree, I am very concerned about a CalPERS investment strategy that is fixated on a numerical target such as 7.75% ROI, rather than on investments which are sensible and low-risk. Personally, I would prefer to see relatively small reductions in my modest stipend if they meant that CalPERS would have the flexibility to abstain from unrealistic or uncomfortably high risk.
The selfish attitude of too many civil servants, that they should get what has been promised no matter who else suffers, could easily erode everyone's quality of life as local and state governments gut basic services now and in the future.
Retirees, many of whom receive stipends that dwarf mine, should have options to give back some of the money in return for considerations such as having the capital that has been set aside on their behalf invested in more conservative and less risky ways.
Another alternative would be investing such capital in truly sustainable ways that could directly benefit such wise pensioners.

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