SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — The nation’s largest public pension fund announced Monday that it will post data online about nearly half a million pensioners in an effort to be transparent.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System will launch a searchable pension database with information that is deemed public, such as a retiree’s name, monthly gross pension payment and some employment history, said spokeswoman Amy Norris.

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The database is expected to go live next week.

CalPERS recently sent a notice to retiree organizations saying the fund already fills many requests for public information. It said an online database would allow it to meet legal requirements for public disclosure while protecting the “integrity of our retirees’ public pension data.”

“In recent years, interest in public pensions has increased,” the fund said. “CalPERS receives and fills many requests for public information, including comprehensive inquiries from news organizations that literally seek information about every retiree in the system.”

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The fund acknowledged that such disclosure would stir privacy concerns from retirees.

“We believe our member data will remain better protected on our own website rather than on external databases kept by news or other organizations,” CalPERS wrote.

The $260-billion retirement system administers pension benefits for 1.6 million state and local government workers and their families. It plans to post data of nearly 500,000 retirees, not beneficiaries or survivors who receive a monthly allowance.

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