On the Upcoming UCRS Election
During June, campus employees will be asked to select one candidate to represent their retirement concerns on the University of California Retirement System (UCRS) Board. The UCRS board advises the UC president on retirement benefits and pension issues.
I have worked on this campus for over 15 years as a professional librarian and possess two advanced degrees in public finance and information science. I am a qualified candidate seeking the votes and support of my colleagues to the UCRS board because I am concerned about the stability of our retirement funds in light of UC policies that favor balancing UC's budget on our pension surplus. UC is using "VERIP-based budgeting" to replace responsible fiscal planning.
UCRS claims our pension investment portfolio is "overly" profitable. If this is true, UC should offer us increased benefits upon retirement. Why give away lucrative incentives to early retirees. UCRS recently began a two-tier system that provides reduced retirement benefits for newly hired career staff while at the same time funding lavish VERIP buyouts.
UCRS needs to better utilize technology to disseminate information about our benefits. The Internet (e.g., email, listservs, gopher, World Wide Web, and other computer desktop applications) would greatly improve the flow of information to members.
Downsizing of the UC managed national laboratories threatens to drain our retirement funds. Decisions about early retirement buyout options for thousands of lab employees must be made with adequate campus representation on the UCRS board. Electing a "campus-based" member will ensure broader participation during lab related negotiations. (Both of the current UCRS board positions reserved to represent over 88,000 UC staff are held by lab employees.)
I'm running because I believe we need an independent voice and experienced campus leader to the UCRS board.
Marc A. Levin
Institute of Governmental Studies