California Gov. Jerry Brown wanted to make sure that the members of the CalPERS board knew what they are doing when making decisions regarding the fund’s nearly $300 billion investment portfolio. Now, Brown can rest assured that the members have spent some time in the classroom, studying up on the topics that are relevant to the governance of the country’s largest public pension fund. That’s because he just signed a bill requiring all board members to receive 24 hours of education on a variety of investment issues every two years.
From the Associated Press:
AB1163 by Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, originally was introduced as a way to meet Brown’s request to “bring financial sophistication” to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s 13-member board, which is dominated by public employees and labor union representatives.
Its original language required adding two board members who had financial expertise and did not have a financial interest in the pension system. It also proposed replacing the State Personnel Board representative with the state Director of Finance.
The bill was changed to give board members 24 hours of education every two years, require records of board members’ compliance with education requirements, and provide an annual report on CalPERS’ website.
The topics of the training are varied, but they include fiduciary responsibilities, ethics, pension funding, benefits administration, investment management, actuarial matters, and governance. All great things to learn about when you govern one of the largest pension funds on the planet.
You can read the entire bill here.