CalPERS’ In-House Private Debt Program Is Dead



A plan by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) to run its own multibillion dollar private debt investment program is dead for now after the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee rejected a bill that would have allowed the pension system to keep borrowers’ closely guarded financial information confidential.

The rejection by the committee last week is a major setback for the $469 billion pension system. CalPERS officials had planned to give out as much as $23 billion to companies seeking loans in the private debt market in an effort to boost financial returns for the system.

A day after the legislative committee’s vote, CalPERS Board Vice President Theresa Taylor asked at a board meeting whether the pension system could create an asset allocation that would allow it to earn its assumed rate of return without the in-house private lending program. Its current rate of return is 6.8%.

CalPERS does not need legislative permission for its investment program, but it needed state lawmakers to carve out an exemption to the state’s public disclosure laws to create the private debt program.

Author(s): Randy Diamond

Publication Date: 19 July 2021

Publication Site: ai-CIO