CA Assembly Approves Opening CalPERS to Private Sector

California’s Assembly voted 42 to 28 for the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) to oversee a separate and voluntary investment program for private workers.

Assembly Bill 2940 is aimed at the six million employees in California who aren’t offered a pension or retirement savings plan at work (see Bill Would Open CalPERS to Private Sector Workers).

The Sacramento Bee says the legislation would not allow private sector workers to become members of CalPERS, but would allow them to invest funds through payroll deduction into retirement accounts managed by the pension system. Workers would not have to withdraw assets when they switch jobs, and businesses could match employee contributions if they desire, according to the news report.

The bill now goes to the Senate. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger supports the bill, but the program would only be launched if CalPERS determines it is feasible, federal agencies approve, and startup funds are appropriated in the state budget, the Bee says.

Earlier this month the pension system’s board decided to take a neutral stand on the proposed legislation for now. The full agenda of that meeting is here.