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PEOPLE - CalSTRS’ Big Payday

More than four years after a financially strapped state of California skipped a $500 mil­lion contribution to the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), the pension fund’s CEO, Jack Ehnes, has gotten the money — plus a whopping $200 million in interest.

Last month the state su­preme court rejected an appeal by Governor Arnold Schwarz­enegger’s administration to reduce the interest payment. That left in place a ruling last summer by the Sacramento’s Third District Court of Appeal that ordered California to pay the overdue contribution and boosted the interest rate from 7 percent to 10 percent, increasing the sum by about $40 million. “This case underscores that you can’t treat a trust fund like another stage agency in making budget reduc- tions,” says Ehnes.