California Pension Fund to Award $1.1 Million Record-Breaking Bonus to Investment Chief

CalSTRS is preparing to award a record-breaking $1.1 million bonus to its one of its top executives following the 27.2% investment return the pension funded recorded in 2020-21 financial year.

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This proposed bonus, combined with with his pay of $590,000, would mark the highest compensation on record for CalSTRS Chief Investment Officer Christopher Ailman, according to a public pay database kept by the State Controller’s Office.

It also appears to be the first million dollar bonus at either of California’s two major statewide pension funds. Former CalPERS Chief Investment Office Yu Ben Meng earned about $850,000 in performance incentives in 2019.

It won’t be the last.

CalPERS has been considering offering pay incentives that would reward longevity in a chief investment officer. It adopted a plan this spring that would offer up to $2.8 million in salary and incentives for its next chief investment officer if that executive stays at least five years.

Ailman has led the investment office at the California State Teachers’ Retirement System since 2000, overseeing investment strategy for a fund that provides retirement benefits to about 975,000 people.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System and CalSTRS award bonuses to their chief investment officers based on multi-year formulas. The formulas moderate their bonuses in big years like the past one, but also can yield substantial pay incentives in years when the pension funds miss their earnings targets.

Click here to read the full article on the Sacramento Bee


  1. Stan Sexton says

    This is some of the taxpayer abuse on the CALSTRS side. Wait until you see Ailman and Ben Meng’s pensions. On the CALPERS side, investment officer Curtis Ishii gets a pension of over $420,000 a year. This is insane. But we are past the recall election and this stuff seldom sees the light of day. The MSM will never cover it.

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