Thursday, April 19, 2007

Retired Help Economy Bigtime

Not only the local retirees, but also the big draw that California is to retirees from other areas, would boost this figure higher.

State pensions lift economy, study says
Retiree dollars mean annual $21 billion in state, analysis finds.
By Gilbert Chan - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PDT Thursday, April 19, 2007

California's retired schoolteachers, firefighters and other public employees pack a powerful economic punch in the state economy, surpassing the impact of three major University of California campuses combined, the airlines or the oil and gas industry, according to a new study.

Whether retirees are spending their pension dollars on rent or groceries, the money is fueling the growth of 139,000 new jobs a year with an annual payroll of $4.8 billion, researchers said in an economic impact report to be released today by California's giant public pension funds.

Overall, spending by 675,000 retirees of the California Public Employees' Retirement System and California State Teachers' Retirement System spurs an estimated $21 billion in economic activity across the state. It also produces an annual $1.36 billion boost to state and local tax coffers.

"We assumed they would have a significant impact. The magnitude is surprising," said Robert Waste, a public policy professor and one of the researchers of the study conducted by the Applied Research Center at California State University, Sacramento.

The study for the first time highlights the economic impact of the giant retirement funds. CalPERS, with $241 billion in assets, is the nation's largest public fund while CalSTRS is No. 2, with $163.5 billion in assets.