State Pension System Earnings Down for Fiscal 2012

While the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System reported that its fiscal 2011 returns were positive, a 20.04% performance, the System only earned .36% for fiscal 2012.  This low performance is tied to returns on public equities.  From

Maryland’s $37 billion state retirement and pension system for employees and teachers earned only .36% on its investments in the fiscal year that ended June 30.

This is far below the 7.75% that is the system’s target. “The last 12 months presented a challenging environment for investors, particularly in international equity,” said chief investment officer Melissa Moye. “Most of the system’s assets added value to the fund, offsetting the negative impact of public equity for the year.”

Most of the asset categories in the fund, from cash to real estate, had positive earnings of 3% to 8%. But publicly traded stocks, which represent 42% of the portfolio, were down almost 7%.

However, some say that low investment returns in one year are not a cause for concern.  As reported by the Gazette:

But disappointing investment returns in any one year aren’t necessarily cause for alarm, said Keith Brainard, research director for the National Association of State Retirement Administrators.

“We tend to focus on longer time frames,” Brainard said.

State Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp, who chairs the system’s board of trustees, emphasized in a statement Friday that looking at long-term performance is crucial.

“Taking the long view, the system has on average exceeded the assumed rate of return over the last 25 years,” Kopp said in the statement.

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