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CalPERS Expects 5.8 Percent Annual Investment Return, Significantly Lower than the 7 Percent Goal

Posted: 2/10/2017 Tags: benefits legislation pension policy retirement Tags Views: 1194

On February 7, 2017, CalPers announced they anticipate a 5.8 percent annual investment return. In our article from December 2016, ACSS provided information about CalPers lowering the discount rate from 7.5 percent to 7.0 percent. CalPERS predicts this lower estimate of 5.8 percent could reduce the portfolio’s more volatile stock and private equity sectors and increase allocations of more stable investments. CalPERS expects higher investment returns in the decades to follow.

Don Boyd, fiscal studies director at the Rockefeller Institute of Government, says “It requires a rosy view of the future to assume a long-run return on 7 percent while expecting to earn only a 5.8 percent in the first 10 years. But the alternative would require raising government contributions by even more than they have increased already, undoubtedly an unpopular and difficult move.”

>> Read the full article from Reuters here.


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Lobby Day Registration is OPEN! Register Before February 17th.

Posted: 2/3/2017 Tags: events Lobby Day Tags Views: 1090

At Lobby Day the goal is for you to unite with other ACSS members and educate your legislators about the issues that affect your careers. We need to turnout in greater numbers than ever before to show lawmakers, the media, and the general public that we want our careers to stay productive and protected!

  • Make sure you register for the event online by FRIDAY FEBRUARY 17th!
  • At the Informational Meeting & Dinner on March 14th, you will be informed about the process of Lobby Day and staff will guide you on what messages to stress when speaking to the legislators.
  • On March 15th at Lobby Day, march with your members into the Capitol Building to talk with legislators and discuss important issues. Lunch will be provided.
  • Stick around afterwards for the Ice Cream Social in the Capitol Building to candidly mingle with legislators and ACSS members.

This event is what ACSS is all about. Stand up with fellow excluded employees and let your voices be heard! Together, we can make a difference.

ACSS Members, REGISTER NOW for Lobby Day! 

Click here to learn more about Lobby Day, read Frequently Asked Questions, and see photos from last year's event.


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There's an ACSS Chapter Meeting Near YOU!

Posted: 2/3/2017 Tags: meeting Tags Views: 875

Several local ACSS Chapter meetings are coming up in February and March. Join your fellow excluded employees and come to an ACSS Chapter meeting in your area. Members and potential members are welcome to attend.  Click on the Chapter link below to RSVP now!  Dinner is FREE for members and potential members*. 

  • Get informed about recent ACSS-related news
  • Discuss your job-related concerns among your fellow excluded employees
  • Learn more about your rights as an excluded state employee
  • Ask questions about joining ACSS and the exclusive Member Benefits that come with membership
  • Review Chapter business

>> February 8th - Chapter 509 - Visalia

>> February 9th - Chapter 508 - Stockton

>> February 16th - Chapter 511 - Monterey Park

>> February 16th - Chapter 514 - Ontario

>> February 21st - Chapter 507 - Gonzalez

>> February 22nd - Chapter 502 & 503 - Sacramento

>> March 2nd - Chapter 505 - San Francisco

>> March 3rd - Chapter 513 - Orange County

>> March 7th - Chapter 504 - Sonoma/Napa Area

>> March 7th - Chapter 509 - Fresno

Members attending their first meeting receive a free gift!

*Spouses may attend, but must pay for their meal separately. Alcoholic beverages are not included in the free dinner and must be purchased separately.


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ACSS Met with CalHR to Address the Concerns of Managers and Supervisors

Posted: 1/30/2017 Tags: benefits budget legislation meeting salary Tags Views: 2954

On January 19th, ACSS met with CalHR to discuss the possibility of salary increases for excluded employees in reaction to the recent rank and file agreements that were reached through bargaining in December of 2016. ACSS also intended this meeting to introduce ourselves to CalHR’s new Labor Relations Officer, Kate Van Sickle (who replaced Steven Booth). ACSS helped bring VanSickle up to speed with the history of ACSS’ efforts on advocating for resolving salary compaction and helped familiarize her with the full scope of issues that ACSS advocates for. The meeting was productive and ACSS brought valuable items to the table, yet many specific items were left unanswered by CalHR. CalHR was not specific about which classifications will get additional pay and when it may happen.

ACSS thinks that excluded employees got the better deal regarding the sweeping 3% GSI salary increase for excluded employees in October 2016 versus the $2500 one-time bonus that Rank and file recently received. The 3% GSI increase for excluded employees is a “forever benefit” and it is PERSABLE, so it will count towards your retirement benefits. The $2,500 bonus that Rank and File just received does not.

In our recent January 19th meeting with CalHR, they confirmed that they will NOT be providing excluded employees with a one-time bonus, like that of SEIU Local 1000. During the meeting, ACSS heavily advocated on behalf of members for special salary adjustments to be passed on to excluded employees. CalHR’s response continues to be that final decisions have not yet been made and they will follow the administration’s directive to establish and maintain a 5% pay differential instead of the 10% that ACSS advocates as fair and equitable.

There is good news in the Governor’s proposed 2017 – 2018 budget. The budget adds $1.2 billion for increased employee compensation. It is anticipated that this will provide for General Salary Increases for excluded employees in July 2017, as per PML 2016-023. This is just the beginning of the budget process. Unlike bargaining, where rank and file agrees upon multi-year salary increases, excluded employees are excluded from bargaining, which means that they rely upon the budget each year to determine salary adjustments. The final approved budget bill is still a long way off and a lot can happen between now and the end of the fiscal year. ACSS will continue to monitor the budget process and advocate funding to provide excluded employees fair and equitable pay packages.

ACSS Lobby Day is on March 15th. We strongly encourage you to join us at Lobby Day and meet with legislators and educate them about the issues affecting excluded employees, like pay compaction. As news develops, ACSS will provide any updates in regards to pay increases and further discussion with CalHR.


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CalPERS Benefits Education Event in Sacramento

Posted: 1/27/2017 Tags: benefits retirement Tags Views: 912

The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) is hosting a two-day CalPERS Benefits Education Event (CBEE) in Sacramento to inform members about programs and benefits available to them. This event will take place at the Sacramento Convention Center on Friday, February 3, and Saturday, February 4, 2017 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m..

Whether new to CalPERS, in mid-career, or close to retirement, CBEEs offer all CalPERS members a wealth of information about their retirement and health benefits, supplemental savings plans, long-term care coverage, and more. Representatives from CalPERS Regional Offices will be on hand to answer questions. The event features breakout sessions specific to both early through mid-career members, and those nearing retirement. Topics to be covered include CalPERS retirement benefits, CalPERS health benefits, and deferred compensation.

For more information and to register, visit CalPERS Benefits Education Events.


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Notable points from the Governor’s State Budget Report 2017-2018

Posted: 1/23/2017 Tags: budget governor legislation retirement salary Tags Views: 3035

On January 10, 2017, Governor Brown released his proposed 2017-2018 State Budget. Once again Brown emphasized “budget prudence” by reiterating “deficits are always much larger in magnitude than surpluses.” Brown continues to discourage spending money on programs that improve the lives of Californians and restoring programs that were once cut.

In the big picture, the Governor’s budget proposes $122.5 billion in General Fund expenditures, a slight reduction from the 2016-2017 budget. It also assumes an increase of $5.2 billion in General Fund revenues compared to last year. Over the course of the next three fiscal years, the 2017-18 budget assumes a $1.6 billion deficit in the next budget year and $1 to $2 billion deficits in future years, if left unaddressed. In addition, the Administration socked away another $1 billion into the Proposition 2 rainy day fund to pad the nearly $8 billion balance and prepare for future deficits.

>> Click here to read the full article that includes in-depth content on...

  • State Employee Compensation
  • State CalPERS Contribution
  • Civil Service Reform
  • State Employee Position Increases, Funding Proposals

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SEIU Local 1000 Members Approved New Contract

Posted: 1/20/2017 Tags: bargaining legislation salary Tags Views: 2353

The votes are in and according to SEIU Local 1000, approximately 90 percent of the the people voted in favor of the new contract. The 42-month contract promises members a $2,500 bonus and a cumulative raise of 11.5%. The next step is ratification of the Legislature before the 96,000 state workers represented by SEIU Local 1000 receive their bonus checks.  

>> Click here to read the full article from the Sac Bee.


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CalHR Pay Letter Affects Pay Scales for Some Excluded Employees

Posted: 12/29/2016 Tags: policy salary Tags Views: 2828

CalHR released Pay Letter 16-24 on December 22, 2016, which addressed changes in the Fair Labor Standards Act salary threshold. Some excluded employees received an increased pay rate. 

>> Click here to read the details of Pay Letter 16-24 to see if your classification was affected by this change. 


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CalPERS Lowers Investment Funds Discount Rate

Posted: 12/21/2016 Tags: benefits policy retirement salary Tags Views: 1216

On December 21, 2016, the CalPERS Board of Directors Investment Committee approved a reduction in the discount rate from 7.5% to 7.0% over a three-year phase. CalPERS financial consultants have been concerned about the current state of negative cash flow over the next 10 years. Lower returns in early years will diminish the compounding interest of later years. According to Reuters, “State and local governments could see their pension contributions rise by as much as $2 billion in five years. But for employees, the hit could be another percentage point or more in payroll deductions.” CalPERS views this reduction in the discount rate as a necessary way to improve its current situation.

This means that state employees will be paying more towards their retirement benefits in the long run as a direct result of the discounted rate. The state needs to protect the pensions. To cover that, state employees will end up having to pay more from their current paychecks towards their retirement benefits. At this point, we do not know exactly how much will come out of employee paychecks.

"This was a very difficult decision to make, but it is an important step to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Fund," said Rob Feckner, president of the CalPERS Board of Administration.

The new discount rate for the state will go into effect on July 1, 2017 at 7.375% and then be phased down incrementally to 7.25% for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018-19 and the again phased down to 7.0% for FY 2019-20.

ACSS will continue to follow this issue closely and provide you with updates that affect excluded state employees.

>>Click here to read the full article from CalPERS.


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State Treasurer Chiang Attends Sacramento ACSS Chapters 502 and 503 Member Appreciation Party

Posted: 12/16/2016 Tags: chapters meeting Tags Views: 1693

California State Treasurer and 2018 Gubernatorial Candidate John Chiang attended and spoke at the Chapter 502 and 503 Member Appreciation Meeting and Dinner in Sacramento on December 2nd 2017.

Chapter 503 President, James Teahan, was ecstatic to have Chiang attend. “John Chiang was fully engaged with ACSS members, gave a terrific speech, and truly provided his support for ACSS. We were so happy to have him as this was the first time a State Officer attended our Membership Appreciation Event,” Teahan noted.

Chapter 502 President, Lieutenant Coopwood, found Chiang very approachable and personable. Coopwood enjoyed listening to the State Treasurer’s anecdotes about family, his background, and history with Governor Schwarzenegger. Coopwood commented that Chiang’s speech “showed how he is willing to fight for the rights of ACSS members and not just go along with the status quo.”

In addition, ACSS Vice President Elnora Fretwell said, “Chiang’s personal stories really connected with the crowd.”

Overall, the presence of Chiang at the Member Appreciation party was extremely well received by ACSS officers, members and their guests. ACSS thanks State Treasurer Chiang for spending time with us and supporting us in our efforts.


Top row from left: Chapter 502 President Lieutenant Coopwood, ACSS President Frank Ruffino, State Treasurer John Chiang, Arthur Anderson, Chapter 503 President James Teahan.
Bottom row from left: ACSS VP of Membership Development Arlene Espinoza, ACSS Secretary/Treasurer Pam Robison, Chapter 502 Secretary/Treasurer Lori Anderson.


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