More Pension Tension (from a Stanford-Hoover MOOC)

Closed? Maybe it moved to Palo Alto.

We have noted on this blog that there seems to be a move to get a public pension initiative on the ballot in California.  Although there have been previous efforts, there are signs that there may be money behind the current attempt.  “Coincidentally” – as they say – it appears that the Stanford Business School and the Hoover Institute are setting up a MOOC which on its face seems to be about general retirement issues such as how to invest your money.  But it somehow ends in a what-to-do-about-public-pensions program.

From a media release by the Stanford Business School:
…In addition to some of the unique collaborative elements of the course, The Finance of Retirement and Pensions will culminate in an interactive symposium about the challenges of U.S. pension systems. Called “Innovative Ideas for the Future of U.S. Public Sector Pensions,” the symposium will be held in January 2014 at Stanford Graduate School of Business. The event will feature representatives of the MOOC teams with the five most promising ideas for pension reform, who will present their proposals to a distinguished panel of faculty and experts in finance and public policy. Expenses will be covered by Stanford GSB in collaboration with the Hoover Institution…

Full release at:

You can read more about the course and program from the State Worker blog of the Sacramento Bee at:

A friendly YouTube is part of the program:

So what is the UC interest in all of this agitation?  Mainly, to stay out of it.  In 2010, the Regents enacted various changes in the UC basic pension.  We were able to avoid being swept into the governor’s pension law which covered state and local public pensions in the state but which exempted UC on the rationale that the Regents had already made similar changes.  It’s tougher to stay out of an initiative. 

Bottom line: UC may get Hoovered.

Best for her, maybe, but not for UC.