CalPERS Delays Launch of Website That Would Disclose Pension Data
CalPERS announced that it will delay the launch of a website that would disclose beneficiaries’ pension information, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Under the California Public Records Act, government agencies must release information including employees':
- Job titles; and
CalPERS already provides such information upon request.
However, the pension system planned to launch a website this month that would display beneficiaries':
- Monthly gross pension payment;
- Base allowance;
- Cost-of-living adjustment;
- Years of service;
- Retirement date;
- Pension benefit formula;
- Final compensation; and
- Last employer (Ortiz, Sacramento Bee, 7/11).
Details of Delay
CalPERS officials said they decided to delay the website's launch after retiree groups announced plans to introduce legislation that would "limit the amount of pension data that [are] required to be released under the Public Records Act" (AP/Stockton Record, 7/10).
The groups are concerned that the availability of certain pension data on the website could make retirees vulnerable to fraud and identity theft, according to the Bee.
Donna Snodgrass -- legislative director for the Retired Public Employees' Association of California -- said the group will be "introducing legislation before the end of this legislative cycle" to "at least take out the retirees' names" from the list of information that must be disclosed.
The Peace Officers Research Association of California, California Forestry Firefighters and California State Retirees also have criticized the website.
Reaction to Delay
State Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said he is "glad CalPERS is just taking a little bit of time to strike the appropriate balance between public access and personal privacy."
However, he added that "[t]he public has the right to know the amount of pensions that people are receiving ... [b]ut not Social Security numbers, dates of birth or personal information."
Peter Sheer -- executive director of the First Amendment Coalition -- said legislation to change the public record requirements is unlikely to pass (Sacramento Bee, 7/11).
On Thursday, Capital Public Radio’s “KXJZ News” reported on the delay (Pringle, “KXJZ News,” Capital Public Radio, 7/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.