The editorial “,” April 18, was heavy on rhetoric, but light on facts and thoughtful analysis. That's not surprising, since the primary source was a California Little Hoover Commission report that was more a political tract than a thorough study this crucial issue warrants. That report failed to address fundamental questions or provide a foundation for its central recommendation, distorted testimony to support its claims and ignored inconvenient data. The P&I editorial exhibits the same failings.
The piece claims the LHC report provides more confirmation that DB plans are “dinosaurs” but doesn't cite any pre-existing evidence. It asserts DB plans can't “provide both affordability and security,” but presents no explanation.
What is an adequate level of retirement security? This fundamental question should be the cornerstone of any significant reform discussions. But it's ignored by the LHC report and the editorial. Instead, the P&I editorial touts the hybrid approach without bothering to discuss how defined contribution plans have gutted retirement security in the private sector.
Public pension systems must make reforms that provide adequate retirement security for workers and fairness to taxpayers. I have led efforts to enact meaningful changes. But the endeavor should be grounded in evidence and rigorous study, not articles of faith.
California State Treasurer
EDITOR'S NOTE: Mr. Lockyer is an ex-officio member of the boards of the California Public Employees' Retirement System and the California State Teachers' Retirement System.