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Calpers Payments Spur $26 Billion in 2010 Activity in California

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July 12 (Bloomberg) -- Benefit payments in 2010 by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the largest U.S. public pension, spurred more than $26 billion in economic activity in the state, the fund said in a report.

The payments led to an increase in the gross state product of more than $8.6 billion and supported more than 93,600 California jobs in 2010, according to the report released today.

“Calpers retirement checks are a powerful engine helping to drive California’s economy,” Anne Stausboll, Calpers’s chief executive officer, said in an e-mailed statement.

Officials in California cities, including San Francisco and San Jose, have been negotiating with municipal unions for concessions on pension benefits that they say are putting a strain on their budgets.

Calpers paid almost $12 billion in benefits to more than 500,000 retirees and other beneficiaries in 2010, according to the report. About 86 percent live in California, the report said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alison Vekshin in San Francisco at avekshin@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Tannenbaum at mtannen@bloomberg.net.