February 19, 2013
External Affairs Branch
Robert Udall Glazier, Deputy Executive Officer
Brad Pacheco, Chief, Office of Public Affairs
Contact: Joe DeAnda, Information Officer
CalPERS to Divest from Manufacturers of Assault Weapons Illegal Under California Law
SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) Board of Administration today directed its investment staff to divest from investments in manufacturers of assault weapons that are illegal for sale in the state of California.
Following the December 2012 tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, CalPERS Board Member and State Treasurer Bill Lockyer called on CalPERS to review its investments in manufacturers of assault weapons that are illegal for sale under California law. Upon review of all asset classes, and in accordance with the CalPERS divestment policy, investment staff identified approximately $5 million invested in two firearms manufacturers.
“As trustees, we take divestment very seriously,” said Rob Feckner, CalPERS Board of Administration President. “As Californians, we also take gun violence very seriously. Eliminating these investments allows us to keep our duty to our members and, in some small part, do what we can to help stop the proliferation of weapons that can magnify and multiply horrific acts of mass violence."
CalPERS holdings represent a “de minimus” value of less than one one-hundredth of one percent of the Fund’s total assets. Related transaction costs are expected to have no impact on the Fund.
“Our staff will immediately begin to sell the assets and will deploy proceeds from the sale back to asset classes from which they came,” said Henry Jones, Chair of the CalPERS Investment Committee.
CalPERS is the largest public pension fund in the U.S. with approximately $255 billion in assets. The retirement system administers retirement benefits for more than 1.6 million current and retired California State, public school, and local public agency employees and their families on behalf of more than 3,000 public employers in the state, and health benefits for 1.3 million enrollees. For more information about CalPERS, visit www.calpers.ca.gov.