January 7, 2015

It's unclear what prompted the piece authored by the Register's editorial board last week, "CalPERS needs to get real," but what is clear is that they failed to take into account the last 18 months, seemingly writing based on a reality that ended on June 30, 2013.

During that time the CalPERS Board took action and adopted policies to ensure that the pension system is fully funded within 30 years, more accurately reflect the liabilities it has accrued, and structure an investment portfolio that not only more adequately takes into account said liabilities, but also reduces risk in the portfolio. All of this and more was done in an attempt to limit the fiscal strain on employers yet ensure the long-term sustainability of the CalPERS fund for our members.

The CalPERS fund also continued its upward growth, surpassing $300 billion in assets for the first time, and returned another fiscal year of solid gains, earning 18.4 percent for the year ending June 30, 2014.

Lastly, to add some perspective since the editorial board seems guilty of the very same statistical cherry-picking that they criticize CalPERS for, our five-year investment return was indeed 3.5 percent for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, but it should also be noted that the 30-year figure for the same time period was 9.4 percent, well above the assumed long-term rate of return of 7.5 percent.

Reports detailing the above information, as well as many other performance, asset allocation and investment program reports (published monthly), are available on our website, should the editors want to catch up.

View the article.