The Taxinator may be breathing a sigh of relief over “fixing” California’s budget problems.
But darker clouds loom.
California’s huge government pension fund is expected to report today a whopping annual loss of an estimated $56.8 billion, almost a quarter of its investment portfolio.
The loss at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System for the fiscal year ended June 30 is the second in a row for the country’s largest fund. A year ago, CalPERS reported an $8.5-billion loss, as the severe recession began to take hold.
The tremendous drop in value is expected to have a direct effect on the amount of money that the state and about 2,000 local governments and school districts must contribute in coming years to pay for pensions and healthcare for 1.6 million government workers, retirees and their families.
As income from the pension investments fall, the governments would have to make up the difference to meet the state’s pension and healthcare obligations.
And as California goes, so goes the nation.