CalSTRS' unfunded actuarial obligation has increased to $73.7 billion as of June 30, up $2.7 billion from the previous year, according to a pension fund report.
The funding gap means the $180.8 billion for the California State Teachers' Retirement System, West Sacramento, is 66.9% funded, essentially the same level as of the June 30, 2012, valuation, Mr. Ehnes said in a statement.
“The valuation reflects a reality, affirmed by the Legislature, the administration and stakeholders, thus stabilizing CalSTRS funding will require contribution increases,” Mr. Ehnes said in the statement.
Mr. Ehnes said healthy investment results will not solely help CalSTRS close the funding gap created by economic downturns and market volatility. CalSTRS' leaders have been pressing the Legislature to raise contribution levels for the pension fund for several years now, but legislative leaders have not acted. The retirement system is funded by a combination of contributions from school districts, the state budget and participants in the pension fund.
Mr. Ehnes said the funding gap is growing at a rate of $15 million a day and that the pension fund would run out of money to pay benefits in 2046, which is a slight improvement from previous estimates.
Officials had estimated back in 2012 that the pension fund would run out of money in 2043 because they thought the funding gap for 2013 would actually increase by $4.9 billion instead of the actual number of $2.7 billion.