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.