Employee Relations 08/27/2010
CalPERS to Include Analysis on Risks to Contribution Rates in Annual Employer Valuations
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) will
soon begin showing public employers how much their retirement
costs will rise if investment earnings fall short. CalPERS will
include the “investment return sensitivity analysis” within the
annual valuations it provides to public employers; the analysis
will illustrate the costs to employers in scenarios in which
earnings fall below the target investment return of 7.75 percent
as well as when earnings rise above the target.
The expanded analysis is CalPERS’ response to criticism regarding the lack of information it provided to legislators about what costs the state would incur if investment earnings fell short after major benefit increases for state workers were granted in 1999 through Senate Bill 400 (Chapter 555, Statutes of 1999). CalPERS’ staff believes that providing the additional information will also help employers to better budget for the future with respect to potential risk to their employer contribution rates when contemplating changes in benefits for their employees.
Cal-OSHA Approves Revised Heat Illness Regulations
The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board
last Thursday approved revised heat illness regulations, putting
new high heat procedures into place for five industries when the
temperature reaches or surpasses 95-degrees Fahrenheit. The
industries to which the revised regulations apply are
agriculture, construction, landscaping, oil/gas extraction and
the transportation of agricultural products, construction
material or other heavy materials and include the following
• Reminding employees to drink water throughout their work shift.
• Ensuring employees have means of contacting a supervisor when necessary.
• Supervising new employees for the first 14 days of employment.
The newly-revised regulations prohibit employees from beginning work until they receive heat illness training and, additionally, clarify shade requirements. Specifically, the regulations require that shade must be present at all times when the temperature is 85-degrees Fahrenheit or higher and that the shade must be as close as possible to a work site. The regulations further clarify that all industries, excluding agriculture, are able to implement alternative procedures for providing shade when it is either unsafe or unfeasible to have a shade-producing structure.
The Office of Administrative Law now has 30 days to approve the modifications.