Topic: Retirement Security

Article Retiree chapters Coronavirus

Tips for seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic
How one retiree chapter is supporting seniors during stay at home

By Susan Morgan, President, AFT Local 1931 Retiree Chapter

As a retiree chapter, one of our current challenges is to find new ways to stay connected, be supportive, and sustain our esprit de corps. The current pandemic has increased challenges for retirees, many of whom were already dealing with the social challenges of isolation and loneliness. These newly heightened mental health concerns are real, and our task is to find meaningful ways to connect with our members to support our common union values and goals.

Article Coronavirus Retiree chapters

Being retired in the time of Covid-19

By Dennis Cox, Southern Vice President, Council of Retired Members

AFT retirees have contributed so much to American education, and are in line for well-deserved gratitude from their students, colleagues and communities. You warrant a heartfelt thanks for what you have done, and for staying home and keeping yourselves safe during this outbreak. You are extremely valuable citizens. So, thank you to all who have served, and are now staying safely sheltered in your homes! Please continue to do all you can to stay safe.

Article

Retirees represent Federation at CARA Convention
How CATs — CARA Action Teams — advocate for issues important to seniors

One of the things Hene Kelly likes most about the California Alliance for Retired Americans is its democratic structure where the concerns of all its members get heard.

Another thing Kelly, a vice president of CARA and its legislative director, appreciates is that she thinks CARA goes beyond listening — they act.

Kelly attended the recent CARA Convention in Sacramento where attendees learned how to strategize and make change.

Article CalPERS

CalPERS bails out of private prisons
Drops $12 million investment in GEO Group and CoreCivic

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, CalPERS, recently rattled the cages of the for-profit prison industry by divesting nearly $10 million of stock in the country’s two biggest private jailers.

The August sell-off came on the heels of the California State Teachers Retirement System, CalSTRS, dropping its $12 million investment in GEO Group and CoreCivic (formerly known as the Corrections Corporation of America).

Article CalPERS

Michael Bilbrey for CalPERS Board Member
This election will be very close. Every vote counts. Here’s how to cast your vote

The CFT has endorsed and strongly encourages your support for Michael Bilbrey in the runoff election for the CalPERS Board of Administration.

  • As a long-time labor leader, Bilbrey has demonstrated his commitment over many years to protecting defined benefit pension plans and ensuring affordable healthcare.
  • Michael Bilbrey will make sure that CalPERS is there to provide the retirement security you’ve earned and are counting on.

Your union recommends Michael Bilbrey: At-Large Position B, CalPERS Board

California Teacher CalSTRS CalPERS

Pension battles shift from ballots to courts
Tracking the latest strategies that attack public employee pensions

For years, people have been trying to attack pensions with ballot propositions, said Doug Orr, an economics professor at City College of San Francisco and the chair of the of the CFT Retirement Policy Committee. Those propositions always go down in defeat, Orr said, and now those attacks on pensions are coming to the courts. 

California Teacher Medicare Social Security

Retirees prepare to stand firm in a hostile new world
Social Security and Medicare targeted by majority party

Candidate Donald Trump told the American people he didn’t want to cut Social Security, but Republicans have opposed the system since its creation during the Depression.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has talked about “means testing” Social Security. In other words, wealthy seniors wouldn’t get benefits because they don’t need them. But they wouldn’t pay into the system, either, and losing the top 10 percent of contributors could lead to financial havoc. 

California Teacher CalSTRS Gun Control divestment

CFT urges CalSTRS to divest from gun manufacturers now

New documentary film Gun-Free Retirement features CFT members

In April 2013, a few months after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that killed 20 children and six adult staff members, the board of California State Teachers’ Retirement System voted to divest from firms making weapons that are illegal to own in California. More than two years later, that hasn’t happened, and Joshua Pechthalt, president of the CFT, wants to make sure it does. Soon.

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.

CFT LETTER TO MEMBERS: June 21, 2014

CFT Members and Staff,

Article PEPRA CalPERS

New law! Significant pension changes for CalPERS members start January 1

Classified employees with questions about the new Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 may find answers on the Frequently Asked Questions page of the CalPERS website. Here are some answers to common questions.

The new law requires that new employees of public schools and community colleges contribute at least 50 percent of the total normal cost or the same contribution rate as “similarly situated” employees, whichever is higher.

California Teacher PEPRA Student debt CalPERS

New employees to face reduced retirement benefits

Workers not yet hired will take biggest hit under law passed by legislators with no input from public employee unions

A new law passed in the final hours of the legislative session makes sweeping changes to public employee pensions that impose most of the changes on workers not yet hired, creating a two-tier system in the workplace where two groups of workers doing the same work receive different retirement benefits.