The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) is the largest educator-only pension fund in the world, serving more than 949,000 public school educators and their families from 1,700 schools. In addition to disability retirement benefits CalSTRS combines traditional defined benefit, cash balance and voluntary defined contribution retirement plans and survivor benefits.
CalSTRS Commitment to a Low Carbon Future
With its 2019 portfolio valued at $226 billion as of May 31, 2019, CalSTRS has a lot of “muscle.” If you are a CalSTRS member you may be reassured to know that CalSTRS has recently been taking a more proactive approach to social responsibility initiatives.
On May 19, 2019 CalSTRS – after a two days conference on climate change hosted by the Vatican and the University of Notre Dame – signed a joint statements calling for meaningful carbon pricing and enhanced climate-related disclosure. As part of the participating Investment Committee they also approved policy language in supporting a “stable and clear carbon pricing framework that aligns with the Paris Climate Accord goals of reducing global emissions”.
CalSTRS also approved new policy language that underscored a need to understand the potential impacts of climate change and consider actions we can take to mitigate risk and identify related to its portfolio’s investment opportunities.
Harry Keiley, CalSTRS Board Vice-Chair expressly stated that “The CalSTRS board recognizes that climate change poses existential and financial risks, and we are committed to addressing them.” Adding, “As the largest educator-only pension fund and a global investor, we have a role to play in promoting the global economy’s transition to a low carbon future.”
CalSTRS Hires Gun Safety Campaign Manager
In May CalSTRS also joined a coalition of big U.S. investors to engage gun makers and sellers to manufacture firearms that are safer. They have hired Michael Weston as public engagement manager of this gun safety campaign.
CalSTRS, like many of the pension funds that are among the 13 investors that announced their joint initiative, are situated in a state where tragic mass shootings have occurred. In addition to servicing many families affected by the 2018 Borderline Shooting in Thousand Oaks, victims of the 2017 shootings in Las Vegas also included actual CalSTRS members.
Said Kirsty Jenkinson, CalSTR’s director of sustainable investment and stewardship strategies, “Large investors are beginning to collaborate more, especially in areas of risk on a global scale.” Adding that CalSTRS is committed to doing its part to help mitigate risk relative to the safety practices around the use of firearms.
CalSTRS Disability Retirement Attorneys
As attorneys who have represented hundreds of CalSTRS members in disability retirement actions, we applaud CalSTRS and its members for these two worthwhile social initiatives.
The disability lawyers at Cantrell Green are among the few attorneys who understand and specialize in CalSTRS disability benefits. If you are unsure if qualify for CalSTRS disability retirement benefits, or are having difficulty collecting your benefits, call our experienced CalSTRS attorneys today.
This article applies to members of California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS); and does not reflect the rules, laws or regulations governing how other public retirement systems are administered. If you have question about another public employee retirement system, find your system, below – or call our attorneys at: 562-622-4800
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