CalPERS Reviews | Glassdoor

CalPERS Reviews

Updated March 21, 2019
68 reviews

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3.6
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CalPERS Interim CEO Douglas Hoffner
Douglas Hoffner
13 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "They foster a good work life balance" (in 13 reviews)

  • "Benefits, work environment, and people" (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • "They preach core values but only practice at exec level and low staff level" (in 4 reviews)

  • "There is no accountability in those who are making investment decision either" (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Great company to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Services Analyst in Sacramento, CA
    Current Employee - Staff Services Analyst in Sacramento, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CalPERS full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Pension, Great people, holidays off

    Cons

    Have to wait for someone to leave to get promoted


  2. "Has it's pros and cons"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at CalPERS full-time

    Pros

    Under the right management, this place is a great place to work. The system is put in place so that there is no abuse of power. There are a ton of checks and balances.

    Cons

    Under the wrong management, this place can be horrible to work at. There are plenty of union violations and retaliation if you speak up.

    Advice to Management

    Do more training so people who are not able to do their jobs get fired.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Long Time Agency, leader in keeping up with the times (compared to other agencies) but still room for improvment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Analyst in Sacramento, CA
    Former Employee - Analyst in Sacramento, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at CalPERS full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Health Benefits
    Retirement
    Lasting Friendships with peers
    Fitness Center
    Beautiful Downtown locations
    Diversity and Inclusion groups
    Disability Advisory Council
    Cafe (Chef Manny and his team made coming to work everyday nice)
    Holiday events
    Employee Recognition

    Cons

    Non-Competitive pay
    Archaic data systems
    Poor Leadership within certain departments

    Advice to Management

    Great leadership starts with the leaders, building morale starts with the leaders by practicing what is preached. The values are amazing but not every leader has the same values and that affects more than just the direct report. I often found myself stuck between trying to stick up for other teammates and keeping my mouth closed because I didn't want to be in the line of fire. I wish that the leaders were more transparent and provided visibility with their day to day. It is one of the better state agencies that I've worked at but there is room for improvements.


  4. "Good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at CalPERS full-time

    Pros

    Great coworker. Work is constant

    Cons

    No cons yet for me

    Advice to Management

    Listen to lower level employees


  5. "Great Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Services Analyst in Sacramento, CA
    Current Employee - Staff Services Analyst in Sacramento, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CalPERS full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    They foster a good work life balance

    Cons

    No room to grow if you are at an admin level

    Advice to Management

    PROMOTIONS IN PLACE


  6. "CalPERS"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at CalPERS full-time

    Pros

    work-life-balance
    parking (but you have to pay)
    variety of jobs

    Cons

    cliques
    café can be redundant with food choices


  7. "Student Assistant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at CalPERS part-time

    Pros

    People are nice. They will find projects for you to learn.

    Cons

    Limited full time position available

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Rretirment Program Specialist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Retirment Program Specialist in West Sacramento, CA
    Former Employee - Retirment Program Specialist in West Sacramento, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at CalPERS (More than a year)

    Pros

    Environment great, Coworkers great, training provided, equipment provided

    Cons

    Oversight has become too "private indistry" to privide members with desired information or extensive questions. New regime being driven by board members' perceptions rather than client needs.

    Advice to Management

    Stop being manipulated by outside entities who have no experience or knowledge of actualday-to-day customer needs. If the goal is to provide the best customer service, talk to the individuals who are actually providing it and consider the retirment recipient's position, not the race for private business' stats, which are inconsistent with the supposed goals of the agency.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Very sad executive office is in leadership positions"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Investment Officer in Sacramento, CA
    Current Employee - Investment Officer in Sacramento, CA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at CalPERS full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Work-life balance and benefits (let's hope I get them). I have an excellent manager now since switching to a different asset class. If you want to have a good paying job (if above IO 1 level D) that has a positive mission, CalPERS can be a good place to work if you care about wanting to make sure public employees have a retirement.

    Cons

    What can I say, a current board member was accused of sexual harassment and never fired. The board has made many poor political decisions that has led to the increased unfunded status that is projected to worsen over time. Leadership makes political decisions, i.e. the fund lost $9 billion in divesting from tobacco. Decisions like that are made without doing appropriate scenario analysis or impact to returns of the fund. Executive staff doesn't seem to understand basic math as allocation to the different asset classes and their expected returns never seem to enter the formula otherwise they would see they can't reach the expected rate of return. Duh. There is no openness in the decision making process and staff is often lied to by management about what is going on. Current leadership seems incapable of handling negative P.R. There is no accountability in those who are making investment decision either. CalPERS has high standards for external managers but if we rated ourselves as an investment manager, it would be laughable. Be prepared to be dismissed by the CIO and COO. They treat lower staff like they are idiots and annoyances to be rid of which is why it is not a surprise at the open committee when they discuss "talent management", it is only manager level positions they talk about. It is ridiculous for an Investment Officer I position, they expect 3- 5 years of industry experience while your manager more than likely doesn't have the demanded level of skill, education, or knowledge (my experience). The majority of asset class leadership is so toxic, good luck ever getting a promotion. The INVO department heads fight with each other about what positions will go where. So if you work in an asset class that management doesn't like or is politically hot, sorry, your promotion opportunities are swiped from you and given to another team. This is why people get stuck at IO 1 and IO 2 positions for years...and years. However, if the CIO likes you, he will allow for a whole new department for his favored person to lead even though there is no analysis on how this new asset will impact overall fund return or actual investment opportunities. Further, CalPERS loves to create committees that serve NO purpose or actually produce anything that goes into a decision. This wastes hours of professional time with pointless meetings where extra work is created for no purpose. CalPERS loves to talk about Core Values but the top leadership doesn't have the human capability of demonstrating them. I find it very sad that as a lower level employee, how much I care about providing and safeguarding retirement for public employees while executives and leadership do not care at all. I really think either the board structure needs to change in requiring a minimum level of investment knowledge or actual accountability of decision makers to have alignment of interest with fund returns.

    Advice to Management

    You are a sad bunch of individuals who are doing so much harm to the public pension. You continually lose so much talent at lower investment staff due to not promoting individuals and leaving bullies in management.


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Investments Branch = Unethical & Dishonest"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sacramento, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Sacramento, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at CalPERS full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    good benefits, lots of days off

    Cons

    Communication from senior leadership is often dishonest, what they say is rarely actual reasons. Challenging assignments given to consultants. Division leaders, especially fixed income, scream and bully staff. Key skill is networking. Way overstaffed. Culture is one of backstabbing like gangsters, loyalty to own team and doing whatever to advance self.

    Advice to Management

    Resign