TEAPAC FIRST FRIDAY BREAKFAST FORUM Making California Golden Again: Taking California into the 21st Century

Over the next ten months, we will be hosting presentations from policy experts to look at where we are, where we have been and where we need to go in California in the 21st Century.


Please Join us for a presentation by John Harrington, Esq. Staff Counsel, Los Angeles Employees Retirement Association Councilmember, City of San Gabriel October 7, 2016


“California's Pension Crisis from the Perspective of a City Councilman and Pension Expert”

At our next Breakfast Forum on Friday, October 7, John Harrington will discuss California's pension crisis from the perspective of not only someone who works for a public employee pension fund handling investments and transactions, but also of a city council member with fiduciary and fiscal responsibilities.  Mr. Harrington is an attorney, a pension professional and investment expert.  He is uniquely qualified to speak on this subject, and you will find his perspective to be invaluable.  



Dear Patriots,

I am writing to remind you and encourage you to attend our    next "First Friday Forum" this Friday, October 7, 2016 at 7:30 AM    at the Pasadena Hilton.  [See table below for details.]  Our    guest speaker will be San Gabriel City Councilman, John Harrington.     John is an attorney who has worked for the last several years for LACERA,    the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association.

We have all heard of CalPERS, the giant California Public    employees retirement system with 1.8 million (gasp!) members. Many of us    also know about the other large retirement systems such as CALSTRS, the    California State Teachers Retirement System, which has almost 870,000    members as well as UCRP, the University of California Retirement Plan that    manages retirement funds for its 225,0000 members. 

In addition to these large statewide systems, there are a    number of cities and counties that manage their own retirement (aka    pension) plans.  Among the largest is LACERA, which manages pension    and retirement benefits for over 162,500 county employees and currently    provides benefits to over 61,000 retirees.  With over $50 billion in    investments, it is one of the largest retirement plans in the country.

Despite the vast amount of assets on hand, the pension plans    in California are critically underfunded.  Although experts    disagree, most agree that California's retirement plans are    underfunded by at least $1 trillion dollars.  In other words,    government entities need to set aside at least another $1 trillion dollars    in the near term to ensure that they will be able to meet just the current    commitments.  This assumes that they do not hire anyone else, that    they don't work any longer, retire sooner or die later.   This    unfunded, unpaid retirement debt poses a mortal threat not only to the    state but to the cities and counties as well.  If we continue on our    current trajectory, the retirement shortfall will continue to grow.     Sooner or later this shortfall will require cities to raise taxes and/or    reduce services.  Unless checked, these pension contributions will    soon account for over 30% of municipal budgets and rise from    there.   The "quality of life" that so many cities brag    about will evaporate as they are forced to make good on the extravagant    promises they have made to public employees. 

The best single source of information on the pension numbers    for your city will be found at www.PensionTracker.org.  You will be shocked    by what you read there.  For example, the City of Glendale admits that    they owe their pension plan $450 million right now.  But the read    number is probably closer to $1.5 billion.

As a sitting city councilman, attorney and pension plan    professional, John Harrington is uniquely qualified to discuss these    issues.  He prefers and enjoys a Q&A format, so bring your    questions along with a friend and join us as California 21 explores    solutions to this and other critical problems facing California in the 21st    Century.

I look forward to seeing you on Friday.  Huzzah!         Mike Alexander    President 





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