Published On: Thu, Jul 29th, 2021

California’s Public Pension Plans Boast 20 Percent Returns

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Commentary Both of California’s large public pension plans posted returns of more than 20 percent during the 2020–21 fiscal year, which ended June 30. CalSTRS, which invests money to be used to support post-retirement benefits for teachers, had a 27.2 percent net return for the fiscal year. CalPERS—which invests for state employees, nonteacher education workers, and employees of cities and counties—had a 21.3 percent return for the year. Assets managed by CalPERS can now fund 80 percent of future retirement and health care obligations. The assets were reported two months ago to fund 66.5 percent of its future obligations for California teachers, based on data from June 2020. In June 2019, CalSTRS assets equaled 67 percent of then-calculated future obligations. Funding status at CalSTRS, the percentage of future obligations met by current assets, almost certainly increased substantially from June 2020 to June 2021. The plan assumes it can earn 7 percent …

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