California's school pension funding plan is working

In this EdSource Commentary, Grant Boyken, public affairs executive officer for the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), states, “CalSTRS’ dedication to act as fiduciaries on behalf of California’s teachers requires that we correct the record to assure our members, stakeholders and the public that the CalSTRS Funding Plan is working and to argue strenuously for the defined-benefit pension as the best choice for career educators”.

The article describes how Assembly Bill 1469 established the CalSTRS Funding Plan in 2014, which required increased contributions from CalSTRS members, school districts and the state to fully fund the CalSTRS Defined Benefit Program by 2046. While it will take several decades for CalSTRS to reach full funding, the system is on the right track forward and the CalSTRS Funding Plan is working as intended.

The author also describes the tradeoffs of switching teachers’ pensions to 401(k)-style defined contribution accounts, as has been argued by researchers for the Getting Down To Facts II project.

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