We are the only not-for-profit organization that works exclusively for the benefit of California State University System retirees.
The California State University Emeritus and Retired Faculty and Staff Association (CSU-ERFSA) is a statewide not-for-profit corporation devoted exclusively to addressing the concerns and protecting the rights of all retired California State University faculty and staff. We work on behalf of the more than 9,000 retired faculty members from the 23 campuses of the California State University system, as well as on behalf of all retired CSU staff members and current CSU employees.
CSU-ERFSA represents the interests of its membership before the state legislature and federal government, various state and federal agencies, CalPERS, and the California State University Chancellor's Office.
CSU-ERFSA also maintains liaison with individual campus emeriti and retiree organizations, the CSU Academic Senate, the California Faculty Association (CFA), the California State Employees Association (CSEA), the California State Coalition of Retired Employees (SCORE), and the Retired Public Employees Association of California (RPEA).
All retired and emeritus California State University faculty members - including those currently in the Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP) - and all retired CSU staff members are invited and encouraged to join. CSU-ERFSA dues range from $5 to $10 per month depending on the retiree's gross monthly retirement benefit from CalPERS (or in a few cases STRS). A portion of these dues is returned to the member's local affiliated campus retiree organization if any. The membership information page includes more details and a membership application.
CSU-ERFSA's organizational structure includes the State Council, the Executive Committee, several standing committees, liaisons to CFA and the CSU Academic Senate, an executive director and a small administrative staff. The CSU-ERFSA Reporter is the quarterly newsletter of the association.
Two key issues confront our membership today. In recent years the pension benefits for CSU faculty and staff members have been under attack, as they were when CSU-ERFSA was founded in 1985. Initiatives that would replace our current defined benefit retirement plans with defined contribution plans for new CSU employees would provide less security for future retirees and would weaken the existing pensions system for current retirees. Rapid increases in health care costs during the past decade have reduced the health benefit choices available to retired and current CSU employees, and have increased the out-of-pocket expenses that retired and current employees must bear. CSU-ERFSA has had a number of successes in protecting both pension and health benefits for retired CSU employees over the years. We continue to make pension and health care benefits our highest priority.
Pensions are a form of deferred compensation. CSU faculty, staff, and administrators receive salaries that generally are lower than are paid for comparable positions at other universities in the United States. Some of that difference is made up by better pension and health care benefits. Because of the structure of the CalPERS defined benefit pension program with its history of strong investment returns, the public is able to provide deferred compensation (pensions) at a much lower cost than providing direct salary enhancements. As the following graphic shows, currently it costs the California taxpayer 26 cents to provide a dollar of deferred compensation even though the pension fund is recovering from one of the worst economic crises in U.S. history. The taxpayer contribution varies, and at times has been as low as 12.5 cents per dollar of deferred compensation, 61 cents comes from investment earnings, and 13 cents comes from the contributions of CalPERS members.