Annual Conference Focuses on Future of Public Pensions



For Immediate Release
Contact Joe Gimenez, 713.478.8034

March 28, 2010

AUSTIN (March 28, 2011) - More than 480 representatives of city, state and local pension plans for police, fire fighters and municipal workers attended today the annual conference of the Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems, focusing on the question of "Where Do We Go From Here?"

"While all our conferences offer detailed training on investment opportunities, ethics and pension administration, we’re also discussing how we can responsibly work with city, county and state governments which are facing fiscal constraints," said Eyna Canales-Zarate, the President of the TEXPERS Board of Directors. "Texas law has a system providing local control of pension investment and administration and it has worked well in providing low cost benefits to public employees.

"We’re engaged with our members in a process of ensuring that retirement benefits contribute to the competitiveness of employment in the public sector while not exceeding taxpayers abilities’ to fund them," Canales-Zarate said.

During the conference, TEXPERS released the findings of its Asset Allocation and Investment Performance Survey. The 56 respondents had $21.7 billion in market valued assets at the end of September 2010, with an average investment performance of 8.9% per year over a 20-year period. That rate exceeded the average actuarial investment return assumption of 8.2% needed to maintain benefit commitments.

"We judge pension plan investment performance on long-term basis because today’s new hire will probably work at least 20-years before benefits are paid," said Max Patterson, the executive director of TEXPERS. "We’re encouraged by the results of the study because solid investment performance is a key factor in keeping taxpayer contributions to public employees’ retirement benefits as low as possible."

The study showed that survey respondents had an average asset allocation of 26.9% percent in U.S. equity, 19.3% in non-U.S. equity, 28.3% in fixed income, 9.1% in real estate, 6.4% in private equity and 10.0% in other asset classes.

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About TEXPERS
The Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems (TEXPERS) is a statewide voluntary nonprofit association to provide quality education to trustees, administrators, professional service providers and employee groups and associations engaged or interested in the management of public employee retirement systems. Today, TEXPERS' member systems represent approximately 300,000 active and retired participants and approximately $475 billion in assets. Learn more at www.TEXPERS.org or www.TEXPERS.blogspot.com.