SACRAMENTO, Calif. April 3 The pension fund for
public school teachers in California faces a long-term shortfall
of $74 billion, threatening its ability to pay for the
retirement of nearly 1 million teachers and administrators in
the nation's most populous state, officials said on Thursday.
The gap is growing by about $15 million per day, the
California State Teachers Retirement System said in a written
statement, and the system could run out of money in 32 years.
"CalSTRS has slightly less than 67 cents on hand for every
dollar it owes its members," CalSTRS spokeswoman Gretchen
Zeagler said in a statement.
The system's investments grew at a rate of 13.9 percent in
the fiscal year 2012-2013, nearly twice what was anticipated but
not enough to close the gap, she said.
To make up the difference, participants - whether teachers,
school districts or the state - will have to contribute more
toward members' retirement, said CalSTRS Chief Executive Officer
"Since at least 2006, we've said that CalSTRS cannot rely
solely on healthy investment returns to make up the ground lost
to the economic downturns and market volatility of the past 14
years," Ehnes said in a statement.
A decision to increase contribution levels would have to be
made by the legislature and approved by Governor Jerry Brown.
The resurgent stock market has put off the system's
reckoning slightly, extending by about three years to 2046 the
date at which it will run out of money if nothing is done.
(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and