The Right Numbers Tell the Story on Pensions
November 10, 2014
A recent editorial in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, "Numbers tell the story on pensions," incorrectly states that "despite a strong five-year run that has seen new record highs for the Dow Jones and other stock indexes, CalPERS still had $50 billion less in its fund in 2013 than it had before the recession started in 2007." Actually, CalPERS had more in its fund in 2013, even at the lowest point last year, than it did in 2007 before the start of the recession - almost $30 billion more. The peak net asset value in 2007 for the CalPERS fund was $254.6 billion for the month ending September 30. The peak in 2013 was $283.5 billion for the month ending December 31.
Furthermore, it should be pointed out that while CalPERS uses a 7.5 percent assumed rate of return, both the near-term performance measurements (3-year, 12.0 percent; 5-year, 10.9 percent) and the long-term measurement (20-year, 8.3 percent) have outperformed this target.