16 October 2010

UCRP option D

The Berkeley Faculty Association has rejected all three options (A, B, and C) for returning UCRP to fully funded status (Options A and B were put forward by the Post-Employment Benefit task force, and option C was developed by dissenting faculty and staff members of that task force): UCRP's unfunded liability
has multiple, complex causes, including, most fundamentally, the political failure of the state of California to support its own system of public higher education. The effects of this on UCRP have been especially dramatic, [...] because pension plans by their nature depend on long time spans between when contributions are made and benefits paid [...]. It is in this way that UC’s liability for its pension obligations, which it can neither morally nor legally walk away from, have snowballed out of control and become a threat to UC as a whole. Recent attempts to find money to pay down the liability by raising in-state student fees and by increasing enrollment of out-of-state students paying even higher fees only replace one threat to UC with another, and put the burden of solving the problem on those who had no role in creating it.
Instead of the three option, the Berkeley FA advocates process D, "a new, collaborative,
professionally facilitated, stakeholder process for developing creative solutions to the crisis at UCRP" informed by principles such as the following:
  1. Do not propose regressive changes to contributions or benefits.
  2. Do not propose a new tier that imposes costs only on future employees. 
  3. Changes to contributions and benefits to amortize the unfunded liability should be temporary in
  4. Structure changes to contributions and benefits to amortize the unfunded liability as
    progressively as possible.
  5. Focus on identifying and/or developing new internal sources of university funding for the UC's employer contribution other than student fee increases.
  6. Establish a Stakeholders' Board of Trustees for UCRP implementing shared governance of the pension fund.

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