Quiz: How much do you know about Chico’s pension deficit?

18 Oct

Here’s Part 1 of the quiz I was promising. These questions are all from the first 10 or 15 minutes of the video presentation posted here:


If you feel like it, send this video to your district representative/candidate, see how many of these questions he/she can answer.

  1. What is the city’s current Unfunded Actuarial Liability (aka “pension deficit”), not including interest?
  2. How much has that figure grown in the last 5 years?
  3. What are the two types of payments the city currently makes to CalPERS?
  4. How much are those payments projected to increase over the next 5 years?
  5. What is CalPERS investment return target, and what have they been averaging over the last 20 years?

Well, that ought to give you something to chew on, I’ll get more questions when I have a minute.

5 Responses to “Quiz: How much do you know about Chico’s pension deficit?”

  1. Jim October 18, 2020 at 7:01 am #

    I doubt that many of the council candidates could answer those questions with the exception of Stone.

    Another question I’d ask is “What percentage of the city budget goes toward CalPERS ?

    • Juanita Sumner October 18, 2020 at 7:07 am #

      Good question. That figure has been in the conversation but I can’t remember.

      I think Dave knows. It’s a gobstopper.

      Hmm, I think good questions should get as many points as good answers. 10 points for Jim!

      • Dave October 18, 2020 at 10:54 am #

        That’s a good question. I think I had that number a few years ago but whatever it was is hopelessly out of date.

  2. Emily L October 27, 2020 at 3:55 pm #

    Thanks for publishing all of this. I live in District 3 and asked both Denlay and Schwab (I do not consider Breedlove a serious candidate) about their plan to deal with Chico’s unfunded pension liability. Schwab emailed me back immediately with the same response she said she had already sent to you: best way is to make sure businesses can thrive here by improving infrastructure etc, state’s payment requirements are unrealistic and Chico is advocating for change, city has a pension stabilization trust w which to grow its payment funds, and city is considering a pension obligation bond though there’s “some debate” whether those are beneficial.

    I had to follow up with Denlay, who did respond with her “instincts” about how to deal with this problem: get diverse stakeholders together to understand the problems as a whole before working on a solution, need to get different stakeholders to agree on a plan to pay it down within 30 years, but that Chico has “many pressing issues even beyond pension liabilities,” including illegal encampments, needle handout programs, and the state of City Plaza.

    I’m at a bit of a loss bc I can’t believe Schwab is even considering the pension obligation bond, but it doesn’t look like Denlay understands the issues very well.

    On a related note, I just moved here and I don’t understand why we have districts in a town this size!

    • Juanita Sumner October 28, 2020 at 6:04 am #

      Wow, Emily, you NAILED it! The time I put into this stuff, I never know if anybody is listening, thanks for your comment.

      Frankly, I think Schwab is workable. If more people like you would contact her I think we could change her mind. Denlay is way over her head, she’s just going to be a tool for staff.

      Yeah, the districts are just a fad, a scam to divide power, and I voted NO on Measure E. We’ll see what happens. One council member told me, very confidently, “we’re going to rework the districts after the election.” They all think they can manipulate these districts to their advantage – as always, they are trying to take advantage of the voters.

      Thanks for taking the time to dive in to these complex issues – keep it up!

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