Calpers to tap public employers for money -WSJ

Oct 23 (Reuters) - Top U.S. pension fund Calpers intends to tap California public employers for money if its heavy investment losses don’t reverse, the Wall Street Journal reported. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, known as Calpers, told the paper its assets have declined by more than 20 percent, or at least $48 billion, from the end of June through Oct. 10.

The pension fund was estimated to be worth about $240 billion by asset size as of February.

Unless returns improve, Calpers is planning to impose an estimated increase of 2 percent to 4 percent in employer contributions of payroll starting July 2010, for about two-thirds of its state-employer members, and in July 2011 for the remaining third, the Journal said.

Any decision will be made after Calpers knows its returns for the 2008 fiscal year, it told the paper, adding that the current average employer contribution rate for public agencies including cities and counties is 13 percent of payroll.

Calls to Calpers seeking comment were not immediately returned. (Reporting by Shradhha Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)