News & Events

Do You Know How Your Pension Fund Is Governed?

Microphone on a wooden table and empty chairs in a boardroom.

To borrow from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, your pension fund is “of the people, by the people and for the people….”

That classic description of government applies to its agencies, including your state retirement system that was created 89 years ago by California law.

In this case, “the people” are 2 million active state, local public agency, and school employees, retirees, and their beneficiaries. CalPERS provides their retirement and health benefits based on the return of investments from their payroll deductions and employer contributions to the fund.

The fund’s trustees are the 13 members of the CalPERS Board of Administration, which oversees executive staff who carry out our day-to-day operations.

Six of those trustees are elected to staggered four-year terms from active and retired members. The Governor appoints two board members, the Legislature appoints one, and the others are ex officio members: the State Treasurer, the State Controller, the Director of the California Department of Human Resources, and a designee of the State Personnel Board.

The CalPERS Board of Administration typically meets once a month over a three-day period with six standing committees. Board members serve on these committees to review specific programs, projects, or issues and make recommendations to the board:

  • Board Governance Committee manages the board’s governance protocols and policies, board self-management, and accountability as pension fund fiduciaries;
  • Finance & Administration Committee oversees financial statements, reporting, and budget matters, as well as the CalPERS strategic and business plans;
  • Investment Committee reviews and approves portfolio performance, asset allocation, investment transactions, and investment manager performance;
  • Pension & Health Benefits Committee oversees strategy, policy, structure, and actuarial studies, as well as rate setting for pension and health administration;
  • Performance, Compensation & Talent Management Committee oversees the hiring, termination, compensation, and long-term succession planning of key personnel;
  • Risk & Audit Committee oversees system soundness, enterprise risk management, audits, privacy and information security, ethics, compliance, and other reassurance activities.

Each board member serves on at least one committee. You can view the Board Meetings Calendar to see when each committee meets.

At the beginning of each year, the board elects a president and vice president by majority vote in open session for terms of one calendar year.

The board president presides over meetings, sets agendas, appoints committee members, represents CalPERS to outside parties, and is the communications liaison between the board and the CalPERS executive team.

Learn More

Get to know your CalPERS Board of Administration. Find the meeting agendas, board member biographies, videos, and more on our website.