California teacher pension executives get big bonuses
Nov. 04, 2017
WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Two top executives at California's teacher pension system are getting big bonuses worth more than $200,000 each following strong investment earnings.
The California State Teachers' Retirement System approved the bonuses without discussion Friday for Chief Executive Officer Jack Ehnes and Chief Investment Officer Christopher Ailman.
The bonuses amount to 53.5 percent of the base salary for each executive. Ehnes will get just under $225,000 on top of his base salary of $420,000. Ailman's bonus is $273,000 on top of his $510,000 base pay.
CalSTRS is the nation's second largest public pension fund with more than $215 billion in assets. Its investments earned 13.4 percent last fiscal year, beating a 7 percent target.
Bonuses are based on a formula in each executive's employment contract, which considers investment performance and personal performance. Ehnes is also evaluated on long-range strategic planning.
Ehnes is eligible for a bonus of up to 80 percent of his base pay while Ailman's maximum bonus would double his salary.
CalSTRS distributes retirement benefits for 900,000 teachers, retirees and their family members.
Pension executives are working to fill a nearly $100 billion gap between projected liabilities and assets. The Legislature in 2014 approved a funding plan that increases contributions from the state, school districts and teachers to fully fund the system by 2046.
The California Public Employee Retirement System, the state's other big retirement fund, also awarded bonuses to top executives this year following its own strong investment performance. Chief Investment Officer Ted Eliopoulos was awarded a bonus of $314,000, while CEO Marcie Frost got $80,000.