Friday, November 8, 2013

FY-2013 Investment Returns: NYCERS Fails to Match the S&P 500 Index, Again.

The Comptroller has just released the NYC FY-2013 CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) : the city's annual financial statement. Pension investment expenses have increased significantly from FY-2012, $472.5M up from $370.3M. This is a reversal from the previous two years.

Specifically, NYCERS expenses jumped from $129.5M to $183.3M (see original expense history).

As of June 30, 2013, the NYCERS closing balance increased from $42.7B to $47.2B but given the 17.9% increase in the S&P 500 index that number should have been $48.6B (Bond Core = -.95% with a 70/30 allocation). With a waste of $150M in investment expenses NYCERS is short $1.55B for FY-2103 that a prudent investment policy would have provided. For the record NYCERS missed the Index/Core threshold by $2.6B in FY-2012.

The truly scary thought is that if NYCERS had followed a simple prudent investment strategy over the last last 14 years, the June 30, 2013 closing balance would be $58B. In this year's CAFR the actuary estimated the NYCERS current pension liability at $65.3B. A sane investment policy can go a long way in solving pension problems.

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