A recording of all the public meetings has now posted to the CalPERS YouTube channel.
Here are some highlights from this month’s meetings.
New Board Member
Eraina Ortega officially joined the CalPERS Board of Administration. She automatically becomes a CalPERS Board member by virtue of her appointment as the director of the California Department of Human Resources (CalHR). Eraina was appointed to her position by Governor Gavin Newsom in March 2019.
On Monday, Ben Meng, CalPERS’ chief investment officer, gave a presentation to the Investment Committee on co-investing in the private equity program. Co-investing is where the CalPERS Investment Office directly invests in a business alongside a general partner. This is different than the more common approach where CalPERS joins multiple investors in a private equity fund.
Co-investing can help reduce fees and other costs, which is one reason it’s so attractive. CalPERS has had experience with co-investing in the past, and our investment team believes it can play an important role in the future.
This presentation was the first in an educational series that the Investment Office plans to deliver to the Investment Committee over the next few months. The topic of next month’s educational workshop is risk and return fundamentals.
Pension & Health Benefits Committee
On Tuesday, the Pension & Health Benefits Committee approved an important benefit change to the CalPERS Long-Term Care Program. Called LIFT, this new program is aimed at reducing and preventing falls that happen all too often as we age.
Among other benefits, eligible participants will receive educational materials, a comprehensive in-home fall risk and home safety evaluation, and coaching and support. The program, which will be phased in over three years, has proven in the past to help reduce harmful falls and associated costs.
The committee also heard a presentation outlining the success CalPERS has had on reducing opioid use. As we all know, the abuse of opioids is a national crisis. To combat this issue, CalPERS adopted a plan developed by OptumRx, our pharmacy benefits manager. The plan focuses on prevention and education, minimizing early exposure, reducing inappropriate supply, treating at-risk and high-risk populations, and supporting chronic populations and recovery. For CalPERS, the result has been significant reductions in both the number of opioid claims and opioid users.
Finance & Administration Committee
Also on Tuesday, the Finance & Administration Committee approved the FY 2019-20 contribution rates for schools and the state. Contributions are increasing for both, another reminder of why CalPERS is so focused on increasing investment returns. The stronger our returns, the more we can positively impact incoming contributions from employers and members. The committee also heard the first reading of the FY 2019-20 CalPERS budget.
May 2019 Board Meeting
The next CalPERS Board meeting will be Monday, May 13, through Wednesday, May 15, at the CalPERS headquarters in Sacramento.