Monday, July 18, 2011

CalPERS Takes a Stand on Vested Pension Rights

On Thursday, July 14, 2011, CalPERS released a position paper on the status of pension benefits earned by public servants under the system. The paper, Vested Rights of CalPERS Members: Protecting the pension promises made to public employees, interprets sections of the Public Employment Retirement Law (PERL) CalPERS enforces and related state and federal constitutional provisions. The position paper explains CalPERS pensions are vested rights under the federal and state Contract Clauses. It also explains CalPERS' fiduciary duty to members and cautions CalPERS may take legal action "[i]n the event CalPERS questions whether changes in the PERL or other applicable law may cause an unconstitutional impairment of its members’ vested rights..."