The chief executive officer of the nation’s largest public pension fund announced plans to retire this week, while denying that it has anything to do with friction with the board of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.
“Media speculation about reasons for my departure are unwarranted and incorrect,” CEO Fred Buenrostro said in a statement CalPERS issued Monday. He said his retirement from CalPERS later this year, at a date to be determined, will allow him to pursue private-sector opportunities.
The announcement of Buenrostro’s impending retirement came days after the system’s chief investment officer, Russell Read, said he would leave the agency.
Published reports had suggested that the turnover was related to board pressure to manage infrastructure investment decisions in favor of union workers.
“Media reports that raise a specter of controversy between [Buenrostro] and the board are exaggerated,” board president Rob Feckner said in the news release announcing Buenrostro’s retirement. “Anyone who knows CalPERS knows that part of our success as an organization is our willingness to speak frankly and debate the issues. It comes with the territory.”