In the Golden State, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) are waking up to the fact that divestment hurts retirees and taxpayers.
CalPERS and CalSTRS are two of the largest pension funds in the country (by both membership and portfolio size). As California Senate Bill 252, a bill calling for fossil fuel divestment from public retirement systems in California, continues to move along in committee, CalPERS and CalSTRS have publicly opposed the bill because it conflicts with their duties as pension plan managers.
As ALEC VP of Policy Lee Schalk and I mentioned in our OC Register column last month, politicized investment strategies are a recipe for disaster. Research from Mike Edleson and Andy Puzder found that ESG investing yields lower returns than investing without political constraints. Additionally, researchers at Boston College found that ESG has failed to achieve its stated social goals.
Both CalPERS and CalSTRS realize that divestment hampers their ability to put members’ retirements benefits first, and the research shows divestment does not achieve its stated social goals.
Author(s): Thomas Savidge
Publication Date: 28 April 2023
Publication Site: ALEC