District Council 57

Protecting Retirement Security

One hundred CEOs have as much in retirement assets as 41 percent of American families. 

This report, co-published by the Institute for Policy Studies and the Center for Effective Government, is the first to provide detailed statistics on the staggering gap between the retirement assets of Fortune 500 CEOs and the rest of America.


 With the senior population expected to grow by nearly two-thirds in the next two decades, and most workers unprepared for retirement, California faces a mounting retirement crisis. While the retirement crisis is national in scope, California seniors face high costs of living and the state ranks near the bottom in workplace access to a pension or 401(k). Absent policy action to improve old-age financial security for today’s workers and sustain quality of life for the aging population, the ranks of California’s impoverished elderly will swell rapidly over the next two decades and beyond.


Millions of American families are facing the very real prospect of not being able to maintain their standard of living in retirement, and the problem is growing worse over time. This study by the Center for American Progress demonstrates the extent of America’s retirement crisis.

Download the study


  • The average CalPERS pension is $30,589 a year (the average annual wage in CA is $53,890 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).
  • 82% of all CalPERS retirees receive an average pension of $25,515, while only 4% Full Career Safety members receive an average of $84,432.
  • The average years of service for all CalPERS retirees is 20 years.
  • Unlike the private sector, about 29 percent of CalPERS retirees don’t coordinate with Social Security for benefits and their CalPERS pension may be their sole source of retirement income.
  • The percentage of all CalPERS members who are defined as full-career is only 7% for miscellaneous (35 or more years) members and 4% for safety (30 or more years) members.
  • Investment earnings pay the majority of the costs of public pensions. For every dollar paid in pensions, 65 cents comes from CalPERS investments, 22 cents from employers and 13 cents from employees (as of June 30, 2015).




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