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SCA-16 Public retirement systems.(1999-2000)

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SCA16:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 1999–2000 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Constitutional Amendment
No. 16


Introduced  by  Senator Burton

March 06, 2000


A resolution to propose to the people of the State of California an amendment to the Constitution of the State, by amending Section 17 of Article XVI thereof, relating to public pension or retirement funds.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SCA 16, as introduced, Burton. Public retirement systems.
The California Constitution provides that a retirement board of a public pension or retirement system shall have sole and exclusive responsibility to administer the system, as specified, and to provide for actuarial services, as specified.
This measure would provide that expenditures for administration and personnel of any retirement system that receives regularly scheduled contributions from the state shall be subject to appropriation therefor in the annual Budget Act, and would authorize the Governor or the Rules Committees of both houses of the Legislature, once every 5 years beginning in January 2005, to cause an independent actuarial review to be conducted of such a public pension or retirement system, as specified.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

Resolved by the Senate, the Assembly concurring, That the Legislature of the State of California at its 1999–2000 Regular Session commencing on the seventh day of December 1998, two-thirds of the membership of each house concurring, hereby proposes to the people of the State of California that the Constitution of the State be amended by amending Section 17 of Article XVI thereof, to read:

SEC. 17.

 The State shall not in any manner loan its credit, nor shall it subscribe to, or be interested in the stock of any company, association, or corporation, except that the State and each political subdivision, district, municipality, and public agency thereof is hereby authorized to acquire and hold shares of the capital stock of any mutual water company or corporation when the stock is so acquired or held for the purpose of furnishing a supply of water for public, municipal or governmental purposes; and the holding of the stock shall entitle the holder thereof to all of the rights, powers and privileges, and shall subject the holder to the obligations and liabilities conferred or imposed by law upon other holders of stock in the mutual water company or corporation in which the stock is so held.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of law or this Constitution to the contrary, the retirement board of a public pension or retirement system shall have plenary authority and fiduciary responsibility for investment of moneys and administration of the system, subject to all of the following:
(a) The retirement board of a public pension or retirement system shall have the sole and exclusive fiduciary responsibility over the assets of the public pension or retirement system. The retirement board shall also have sole and exclusive responsibility to administer the system in a manner that will assure prompt delivery of benefits and related services to the participants and their beneficiaries. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the proposed budget for personnel and administration for each fiscal year of any public pension or retirement system that receives regularly scheduled contributions from the state shall be submitted to and reviewed by the Legislature pursuant to Section 12 of Article IV. No expenditure by the system for administration or personnel shall be made unless an appropriation has been made for those purposes, for that fiscal year, in the annual Budget Act. The assets of a public pension or retirement system are trust funds and shall be held for the exclusive purposes of providing benefits to participants in the pension or retirement system and their beneficiaries and defraying reasonable expenses of administering the system.
(b) The members of the retirement board of a public pension or retirement system shall discharge their duties with respect to the system solely in the interest of, and for the exclusive purposes of providing benefits to, participants and their beneficiaries, minimizing employer contributions thereto, and defraying reasonable expenses of administering the system. A retirement board’s duty to its participants and their beneficiaries shall take precedence over any other duty.
(c) The members of the retirement board of a public pension or retirement system shall discharge their duties with respect to the system with the care, skill, prudence, and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing that a prudent person acting in a like capacity and familiar with these matters would use in the conduct of an enterprise of a like character and with like aims.
(d) The members of the retirement board of a public pension or retirement system shall diversify the investments of the system so as to minimize the risk of loss and to maximize the rate of return, unless under the circumstances it is clearly not prudent to do so.
(e) The retirement board of a public pension or retirement system, consistent with the exclusive fiduciary responsibilities vested in it, shall have the sole and exclusive power to provide for actuarial services in order to assure the competency of the assets of the public pension or retirement system. Once every five years, commencing in January, 2005, the Governor or the Rules Committees of both houses of the Legislature may choose an independent actuary to review the financial data and actuarial determinations of any public pension or retirement system that receives regularly scheduled contributions from the state. The retirement board of the public pension or retirement system shall fully cooperate with the review process and shall provide a written explanation of any discrepancies noted by the reviewing actuary.
(f) With regard to the retirement board of a public pension or retirement system which includes in its composition elected employee members, the number, terms, and method of selection or removal of members of the retirement board which were required by law or otherwise in effect on July 1, 1991, shall not be changed, amended, or modified by the Legislature unless the change, amendment, or modification enacted by the Legislature is ratified by a majority vote of the electors of the jurisdiction in which the participants of the system are or were, prior to retirement, employed.
(g) The Legislature may by statute continue to prohibit certain investments by a retirement board where it is in the public interest to do so, and provided that the prohibition satisfies the standards of fiduciary care and loyalty required of a retirement board pursuant to this section.
(h) As used in this section, the term “retirement board” shall mean the board of administration, board of trustees, board of directors, or other governing body or board of a public employees’ pension or retirement system; provided, however, that the term “retirement board” shall not be interpreted to mean or include a governing body or board created after July 1, 1991 which does not administer pension or retirement benefits, or the elected legislative body of a jurisdiction which employs participants in a public employees’ pension or retirement system.