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California State Teachers' Retirement System
CalSTRS Logo.gif
California State Teachers' Retirement System Logo
Agency overview
Formed 1913
Headquarters 100 Waterfront Place, West Sacramento, California

38°35′04″N 121°30′34″W / 38.584426°N 121.50948°W / 38.584426; -121.50948

Agency executive Jack Ehnes, CEO
Parent agency California State and Consumer Services Agency
Website
www.calstrs.com

The California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits for California's 833,000 prekindergarten through community college educators and their families.[1] CalSTRS was established by law in 1913 and is part of the California State and Consumer Services Agency.

As of September 2008, CalSTRS is the largest teachers’ retirement fund and the second largest public pension fund in the United States.[2] CalSTRS is also currently the seventh largest public pension fund in the world.[3]

Contents

Member profile

CalSTRS members, as of June 30, 2008, include employees of approximately 1,400 employers:[4]

  • Public school and community college districts
  • County offices of education
  • Regional occupational programs

Teachers' Retirement Fund

The Teachers’ Retirement Fund is a special trust fund established by law that holds the assets of the following programs:

  • Defined Benefit
  • Defined Benefit Supplement
  • Cash Balance Benefit

The assets come from contributions by members, employing school districts and the State of California.[1] The fund’s investments create a stream of income to add to those assets.

The CalSTRS investment portfolio includes stocks, bonds, real estate and short-term investments.

Teachers' Retirement Board

The Teachers’ Retirement Board sets policies, makes rules for and administers CalSTRS. The board is also responsible for ensuring benefits are paid by the system in accordance with law.

The 12-member Teachers’ Retirement Board is made up of:

  • Three member-elected positions representing current educators
  • Five members appointed by the Governor of California and confirmed by the Senate
    • A retired CalSTRS member
    • Three public representatives
    • A school board representative
  • Four board members who serve in an ex-officio capacity by virtue of their office:
    • Director of Finance
    • State Controller
    • State Superintendent of Public Instruction
    • State Treasurer

In February 2002, the board appointed Jack Ehnes as Chief Executive Officer of CalSTRS to administer the system consistent with the board’s policies and rules. The board also selects a Chief Investment Officer, currently Christopher J. Ailman, to direct the investments of the Teachers’ Retirement Fund in accordance with board policy.

Investments and corporate governance

The Teachers’ Retirement Board is responsible for maintaining the Teachers’ Retirement Fund in order to pay benefits to CalSTRS members and their survivors. The board has supported a variety of corporate governance initiatives and actions aimed at keeping the fund stable. A few of the actions taken include:[5]

  • Support of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 that brings dramatic new standards to the corporate board rooms and accounting profession.[6]
  • Encouragement of the SEC's efforts to adopt tough regulations to rein in lax business practices
  • Discussions with individual corporate leaders to express CalSTRS interest in good corporate governance practices.[7]
  • Litigation to pursue both financial remedies for the system as well as governance reforms

On May 28, 2009, CalSTRS announced that individual proxy votes will be publicly available online through a partnership with ProxyDemocracy.org, a nonprofit organization that offers free online investment information about portfolio companies.[8 ][9]

Like other large pension plans, CalSTRS had previously announced its proxy-vote intentions on selective companies. The addition of online disclosure opens the process to all CalSTRS portfolio companies, allowing other shareholders to know how the pension fund will vote.

As of May 2009, CalSTRS holds stock in over 3,800 North American companies.[8 ]

Headquarters

CalSTRS headquarters in West Sacramento, California

Opened in June 2009, the CalSTRS headquarters building in West Sacramento is expected to meet members' needs through 2049. Growth in membership, the difference and complexity of the needs of a new generation of retiring teachers, and the need to operate more efficiently and sustainably led to the decision to build a new headquarters.

The building, a $266 million, 13-story office tower above two levels of public space[10], is part of the Sacramento Riverfront Master Plan.

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LEED certification

The headquarters was designed to meet the Gold certification LEED designation set by the U.S. Green Building Council.[11]

A few of the features[12] designed into the building to qualify for LEED Gold certification are:

  • Water: low-flow plumbing, efficient irrigation to water native plants that don't need a lot of water.
  • Materials: At least 10 percent of construction materials include recycled content.
  • Reduced construction greenhouse gas emissions: At least 20 percent of construction materials come from within 500 miles of the project site.
  • Natural light: At least 90 percent of people in the building have a direct line of site to a window to reduce lighting needs and attempt to increase productivity.

It is expected that construction of the CalSTRS headquarters will add momentum to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s push for “green” buildings and speed up a similar movement in private construction[12].

References

  1. ^ a b "CalSTRS at a Glance". CalSTRS. http://www.calstrs.com/About%20CalSTRS/ataglance.aspx. Retrieved June 12, 2009.  
  2. ^ "The top 200 pension funds/sponsors", Pensions & Investments, September 30, 2008, http://www.pionline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090126/CHART/901209995/-1/PENSIONFUNDDIRECTORY, retrieved May 20, 2009  
  3. ^ "P&I/Watson Wyatt World 300: The largest pension funds", Pensions & Investments, January 21, 2008, http://www.pionline.com/article/20080901/CHART2/23723097/-1/WWTOPFUNDS, retrieved May 20, 2009  
  4. ^ "2008 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report". CalSTRS. http://www.calstrs.com/help/forms_publications/printed/CurrentCAFR/CAFR.aspx. Retrieved June 12, 2009.  
  5. ^ "Corporate Governance Overview". CalSTRS. http://www.calstrs.com/INVESTMENTS/cgoverview.aspx. Retrieved June 12, 2009.  
  6. ^ Jack Ehnes, RE: File No. s7-10-03, letter, addressed to Jonathan Katz, Secretary of SEC, June 4, 2003, retrieved on June 12, 2009.
  7. ^ "CalSTRS Pushes for Executive Pay Policies", Compliance Week, May 6, 2009, http://www.complianceweek.com/blog/aguilar/2009/05/06/calstrs-pushes-for-executive-pay-policies/, retrieved June 12, 2009  
  8. ^ a b CalSTRS (May 28, 2009). "CalSTRS Improves Proxy Vote Transparency". Press release. http://www.calstrs.com/Newsroom/2009/news052809.aspx. Retrieved June 12, 2009.  
  9. ^ Burr, Barry B. (May 28, 2009), "CalSTRS to disclose proxy votes in advance", Pensions & Investments, http://www.pionline.com/article/20090528/REG/905289971, retrieved June 12, 2009  
  10. ^ "CalSTRS Headquarters Facts". CalSTRS. http://www.calstrs.com/About%20CalSTRS/HQInfoCenter/building_facts.pdf. Retrieved November 23, 2009.  
  11. ^ "New Headquarters Project". CalSTRS. http://www.calstrs.com/About%20CalSTRS/HQInfoCenter/index.aspx. Retrieved June 12, 2009.  
  12. ^ a b Ortiz, Jon (July 13, 2008), "CalSTRS' new building goes for 'green' gold", The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com/business/story/1077658.html, retrieved June 12, 2009  

External links


California State Teachers' Retirement System
California State Teachers' Retirement System Logo
Agency overview
Formed 1913
Headquarters 100 Waterfront Place, West Sacramento, California

38°35′04″N 121°30′34″W / 38.584426°N 121.50948°W / 38.584426; -121.50948

Agency executive Jack Ehnes, CEO
Parent agency California State and Consumer Services Agency
Website
www.calstrs.com

The California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits for California's 847,833 prekindergarten through community college educators and their families.[1] CalSTRS was established by law in 1913 and is part of the California State and Consumer Services Agency.

As of September 2009, CalSTRS is the largest teachers’ retirement fund and the second largest public pension fund in the United States.[2] CalSTRS is also currently the seventh largest public pension fund in the world.[3]

Contents

Member profile

CalSTRS members, as of June 30, 2009, include employees of approximately 1,700 employers:[4]

  • Public school and community college districts
  • County offices of education
  • Regional occupational programs

Teachers' Retirement Fund

The Teachers’ Retirement Fund is a special trust fund established by law that holds the assets of the following programs:

The assets come from contributions by members, employing school districts and the State of California.[5] The fund’s investments create a stream of income to add to those assets.

The CalSTRS investment portfolio includes stocks, bonds, real estate and short-term investments.

Teachers' Retirement Board

The Teachers’ Retirement Board sets policies, makes rules for and administers CalSTRS. The board is also responsible for ensuring benefits are paid by the system in accordance with law.

The 12-member Teachers’ Retirement Board is made up of:

In February 2002, the board appointed Jack Ehnes as Chief Executive Officer of CalSTRS to administer the system consistent with the board’s policies and rules. The board also selects a Chief Investment Officer, currently Christopher J. Ailman, to direct the investments of the Teachers’ Retirement Fund in accordance with board policy.

Investments and corporate governance

The Teachers’ Retirement Board is responsible for maintaining the Teachers’ Retirement Fund in order to pay benefits to CalSTRS members and their survivors. The board has supported a variety of corporate governance initiatives and actions aimed at keeping the fund stable. A few of the actions taken include:[6]

  • Support of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 that brings dramatic new standards to the corporate board rooms and accounting profession.[7]
  • Encouragement of the SEC's efforts to adopt tough regulations to rein in lax business practices
  • Discussions with individual corporate leaders to express CalSTRS interest in good corporate governance practices.[8]
  • Litigation to pursue both financial remedies for the system as well as governance reforms

On May 28, 2009, CalSTRS announced that individual proxy votes will be publicly available online through a partnership with ProxyDemocracy.org, a nonprofit organization that offers free online investment information about portfolio companies.[9][10]

Like other large pension plans, CalSTRS had previously announced its proxy-vote intentions on selective companies. The addition of online disclosure opens the process to all CalSTRS portfolio companies, allowing other shareholders to know how the pension fund will vote.

As of May 2009, CalSTRS holds stock in over 3,800 North American companies.[9]

Headquarters

]] Opened in June 2009, the CalSTRS headquarters building in West Sacramento is expected to meet members' needs through 2049. Growth in membership, the difference and complexity of the needs of a new generation of retiring teachers, and the need to operate more efficiently and sustainably led to the decision to build a new headquarters.

The building, a $266 million, 13-story office tower above two levels of public space[11], is part of the Sacramento Riverfront Master Plan.

LEED certified building

The headquarters was designed to meet the Gold certification LEED designation set by the U.S. Green Building Council.[12]

A few of the features[13] designed into the building to qualify for LEED Gold certification are:

  • Water: low-flow plumbing, efficient irrigation to water native plants that don't need a lot of water.
  • Materials: At least 10 percent of construction materials include recycled content.
  • Reduced construction greenhouse gas emissions: At least 20 percent of construction materials come from within 500 miles (800 km) of the project site.
  • Natural light: At least 90 percent of people in the building have a direct line of site to a window to reduce lighting needs and attempt to increase productivity.

It is expected that construction of the CalSTRS headquarters will add momentum to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s push for “green” buildings and speed up a similar movement in private construction[13].

References

  1. ^ "CalSTRS Fast Facts". CalSTRS. http://www.calstrs.com/About%20CalSTRS/fastfacts.aspx. Retrieved August 3, 2010. 
  2. ^ "The top 200 pension funds/sponsors". Pensions & Investments. September 30, 2009. http://www.pionline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?djoPage=chart&category=datajoe&pgTitle=Plan+sponsors&djoPid=13420&djoYear=2010&djoPY=%40pu5b2KVeogeE&djoParentId=887&djoPgTitle=Plan%20sponsors%202010%20%2A%20The%20top%20200%20pension%20funds%2Fsponsors. Retrieved August 3, 2010. 
  3. ^ "P&I/Watson Wyatt World 300: The largest pension funds". Pensions & Investments. January 21, 2008. http://www.pionline.com/article/20080901/CHART2/23723097/-1/WWTOPFUNDS. Retrieved May 20, 2009. 
  4. ^ "2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report". CalSTRS. http://www.calstrs.com/help/forms_publications/printed/CurrentCAFR/CAFR.aspx. Retrieved August 3, 2010. 
  5. ^ "CalSTRS at a Glance". CalSTRS. http://www.calstrs.com/About%20CalSTRS/ataglance.aspx. Retrieved June 12, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Corporate Governance Overview". CalSTRS. http://www.calstrs.com/INVESTMENTS/cgoverview.aspx. Retrieved June 12, 2009. 
  7. ^ Jack Ehnes, RE: File No. s7-10-03, letter, addressed to Jonathan Katz, Secretary of SEC, June 4, 2003, retrieved on June 12, 2009.
  8. ^ "CalSTRS Pushes for Executive Pay Policies". Compliance Week. May 6, 2009. http://www.complianceweek.com/blog/aguilar/2009/05/06/calstrs-pushes-for-executive-pay-policies/. Retrieved June 12, 2009. 
  9. ^ a b CalSTRS (May 28, 2009). "CalSTRS Improves Proxy Vote Transparency". Press release. http://www.calstrs.com/Newsroom/2009/news052809.aspx. Retrieved June 12, 2009. 
  10. ^ Burr, Barry B. (May 28, 2009). "CalSTRS to disclose proxy votes in advance". Pensions & Investments. http://www.pionline.com/article/20090528/REG/905289971. Retrieved June 12, 2009. 
  11. ^ "CalSTRS Headquarters Facts". CalSTRS. http://www.calstrs.com/About%20CalSTRS/HQInfoCenter/building_facts.pdf. Retrieved November 23, 2009. 
  12. ^ "New Headquarters Project". CalSTRS. http://www.calstrs.com/About%20CalSTRS/HQInfoCenter/index.aspx. Retrieved June 12, 2009. 
  13. ^ a b Ortiz, Jon (July 13, 2008). "CalSTRS' new building goes for 'green' gold". The Sacramento Bee. http://www.sacbee.com/business/story/1077658.html. Retrieved June 12, 2009. [dead link]

External links


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