Calpers, the biggest U.S. public pension fund, said Friday it would withhold its votes for the re-election of Rupert Murdoch and sons James and Lachlan to the News Corp. board of directors.

The California Public Employees' Retirement System, best known as Calpers, also said in a statement that it would withhold votes for Arthur Siskind and Andrew Knight in protest of the dual-class voting structure at the company.

The pension fund said it aims to rejuvenate the News Corp. board with new independent directors.

Calpers owns about 1.45 million News Corp. shares.

Also on Friday, Hermes Equity Ownership Services, the shareholder advisory service affiliated with Britain's largest pension fund, urged investors to vote against the re-election of all Murdoch family members, Siskind and Knight.

The annual general meeting of the media group, under fire for a phone hacking scandal, is scheduled for Oct. 21.

(Reporting by Jim Christie; Editing by Gary Hill)

Reuters