The task force President Napolitano recently appointed to develop retirement benefits options for future UC employees met twice in August to begin its work. The first meeting on August 7 was held in person at UC offices in Oakland. The second meeting on August 20 was conducted via teleconference. Highlights from the two meetings include:

  • Conversation with President Napolitano: President Napolitano opened the Aug. 7 meeting stressing the following:
    • The importance of the group’s charge
    • The desire for the task force to consider the widest possible range of options
    • The critical importance of the task force concluding its work by the end of the year in order to meet the tight implementation timeline
    • That task force members are expected to consult with their respective campuses and constituent groups
    • The need to balance the confidentiality of task force deliberations with the desire for an open, transparent and consultative process
  • Background presentations: Task force members received a number of presentations as context for their work, including:
    • An overview of the UC Retirement System
    • A review of retirement options being provided by 26 national comparator institutions
    • A UC faculty total remuneration study
    • A preliminary financial analysis of select retirement option designs
  • Principles for task force recommendations: There was in-depth discussion of guiding principles to consider, as well as criteria that the task force’s options and recommendations must meet:
    • The new benefits options must continue to be competitive in the context of total employee compensation
    • The UC Retirement Plan must remain financially sustainable
    • Pension-eligible pay for the 2016 defined benefit plan for future UC employees must mirror the cap on pension benefits for state employees under the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA)
  • Possible defined contribution options: There was preliminary discussion of potential defined contribution benefit options that might be offered in combination with or as an alternative to the new 2016 pension benefit. Representatives from Mercer Consulting and the Segal Company, outside consultants engaged by UC to support this effort, presented a range of potential defined contribution options.

The task force will meet regularly by teleconference and in person during the next several months. Several teleconference meetings will be held during the month of September, and the next in-person meeting is scheduled for mid-October.