The board of California's giant pension fund is asking the state to increase its contributions to employee retirement benefits by $600 million in the next fiscal year to help counter massive investment losses.
The board made the request during a meeting Tuesday. It comes as California grapples with a $19 billion budget deficit and a threat by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to eliminate its welfare program.
It is driven mainly by large investment losses by the California Public Employees Retirement System, which is the nation's largest public pension fund. The fund lost a quarter of its value during the 2008-2009 fiscal year that ended last July.
The governor says the pension system is unsustainable and drains money from other state programs.
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