California Controller John Chiang said in a report released Wednesday that the California State Teachers’ Retirement System does not provide enough oversight.
“Starting with more rigorous auditing and better use of existing technology, CalSTRS must fortify its ability and resolve to crack down on those seeking unjust enrichment at the expense of their fellow educators and taxpayers,” Chiang said in a statement.
The controller said the review found that the retirement system doesn’t adequately audit more than 1,900 agencies, missed opportunities to reduce suspicious or unjustified salary increases, and has also failed to use existing systems adequately to identify cases of pension “spiking.”
In response, CalSTRS said in a statement Wednesday it had already started to tackle the problem of pension spiking prior to the controller’s review.
The report said two of five agencies that participate in CalSTRS and were selected for the review by the controller’s office lacked documentation to justify pay increases given to employees right before retirement.
According to Chiang, the review found that the San Francisco Unified School District gave one executive a 26% pay increase six months prior to retirement, and another executive received a 20% increase one year prior to retirement.
The findings from the controller’s report will presented to CalSTRS Audit and Risk Management Committee.
The controller also plans a similar review of possible pension spiking at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.