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Calpers Payments Spur $26 Billion in 2010 Activity in California

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.

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