Retirement Board Election Will Affect Our Paychecks

The current San Francisco Retirement Board Election affects your paycheck. The Retirement Board governs the administration, management, and operation of the City’s retirement plans and manages the investment of the Retirement System’s assets. Anywhere from 7.5% to 12.5% of our paycheck goes to our retirement. When investments in our pension fund do well, we pay less out of our paychecks. When returns are down, not only do employee contributions go up, but the City’s cost increases as well.

Recently, the pension fund returns have been low. The pension fund needs returns of at least 7.5% each year to avoid shortfalls. If we fall below 7.5%, we pay for the difference. We have had back-to-back years with shortfalls. The pension fund returns were 3.9% for the 2015 fiscal year, and were less than 2% in the 2016 fiscal year. We’re expected to pay 1% more out of our paychecks this year because of these poor returns.

The current incumbent on the Retirement Board, Herb Meiberger, has strongly advocated for risky investment strategies that are flatly rejected by our pension fund’s investment staff and consultants.

We need to act to stop poor performance. Electing Al Casciato is a big step in the right direction.

Al served on the Retirement Board for 17 years and was President and Vice President of the Retirement Board a total of 8 times. During his time on the Board, the fund grew from $6 to $18 billion.

Some examples of his good work include: his focus on sound investments over politics, commitment to environmentally responsible investing, his support for pension benefits for domestic partners, and his ability to have positive working relationships with Board staff and money managers. He has been endorsed by Local 21 and 11 other major San Francisco unions, as well as the retiree group Protect your Benefits. You can watch this 90 second video to see why a vote for Al Casciato is the right vote.

Voting ends on February 3rd. You can vote by mail, return your ballot through your department’s appointed Election Officer, or in-person at the Department of Elections.

If you have not received  your ballot, you can request one by filing out this Ballot Request Form