Retirement Security Campaign


Retirement Security

The CFT is committed to ensuring that all CFT members have a safe source of retirement income. To achieve this goal, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) must ensure that they manage the pension contributions of CFT members in their best interests. The top priority in managing these contributions is ensuring adequate funds will be available in the future to provide for the retirement income promised to CFT members. 

In addition to ensuring a secure retirement for CFT members, CFT encourages both pension systems to consider environmental, social, and governance criteria when making their investment decisions. 

  • CFT works in coalition with other unions to protect worker pensions. Learn more at Let’s Talk Pensions.

CalSTRS and CalPERS Data Breach: Impacts and Actions
Information and action items to protect yourself

Both Dennis Cox, the Southern Vice President for the CFT Council of Retired Members, and Doug Orr, Chair of the CFT Retirement Policy Committee, want impacted members to do whatever they can to protect themselves from a recent data breach that affected both CalSTRS and CalPERS.

In June, officials from both pension funds announced that cyber attackers stole information, including names, Social Security numbers and birth dates.

Article CalSTRS CalPERS defined benefit

How CalSTRS and CalPERS pensions are protected from inflation
Governor signs CFT-sponsored legislation to provide earliest CalSTRS retirees another supplemental check

increasing piggy banks representing increasing protection for pensions

Both CalSTRS and CalPERS have mechanisms in place to guard a retiree’s defined benefit pension against eroding purchasing power. The first is a cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, and the second is a “floor” below which the buying power of a pension cannot fall. Now thanks to a CFT-sponsored bill recently signed by Governor Newsom, CalSTRS retirees from earlier decades will see additional relief.

Article WEP/GPO Social Security

Take action now to avoid income shock at retirement
End the Social Security penalties WEP and GPO

rally to end WEP/GPO in Washington D.C.

Districts are supposed to tell new hires about the impact “WEP and GPO” will have on their Social Security—but often they don’t, says Dennis Cox, president of the CFT Council of Retired Members. That means teachers who are counting on a certain amount of income for their retirement get a shock when they find out they won’t be getting it. This happened to Cox.

“I found out I wasn’t going to get my full Social Security benefits and Medicare would be taken out of that,” he said. “I got clobbered, and there’s many people in a worse situation than I am.”

Article CalSTRS

Legislature passes significant changes in CalSTRS contributions

In June 2014, the California Legislature made significant changes in contributions to the California State Teachers Retirement System. The CFT formed a task force to study the issue of the system’s “unfunded liability” and to submit the union’s recommendations to the governor and the Legislature. Learn about the changes passed by the Legislature and the union’s positions below.