MOSERS Achieves 18.5% Investment Return in 2009

The Missouri fund’s value has strengthened since the economic collapse of 2008, with retirement fund assets now at nearly $7 billion.

(February 4, 2010) — The Missouri State Employees Retirement System (MOSERS) said this week that its investment portfolio earned an 18.5% return in 2009, or a total of $1.1 billion for the calendar year.


This double-digit percentage return, well above the fund’s long-term target, signals a rebound since 2008, when the world’s financial markets plummeted. Like MOSERS, which lost $1.8 billion in 2008, pension fund assets worldwide recovered in 2009 but are still below 2007 levels, a recent survey showed.


“Over the past decade, including 2008’s historic market decline, investment earnings account for more than two-thirds of MOSERS’ revenues,” said the fund’s Executive Director Gary Findlay. “As long-term investors, with an investment strategy designed to provide financial security to our members, we take controlled investment risks and build the investment portfolio to withstand the ups and downs of the markets, in order to continuously pay retirement benefits.”


The fund has successfully outperformed its 8.5% return target in 15 out of the 19 ten-year periods from 1982 to 2009, according to the release. Every year, more than $451 million are distributed from the fund to state retirees, most of whom remain in Missouri after retirement, buying goods and services in the state and supporting the local economy.


In recent news, MOSERS reported that it would no longer provide its staffers with bonuses, with the system’s executive director, Findlay, referring to bonuses as “poison.” The slashing of bonuses led to concern about whether the public fund’s top-tier managers would seek more lucrative opportunities at other firms. Even as the system’s portfolio lost $1.8 billion in 2008, the fund’s 72 employees received about $460,000 in bonuses and inventive pay performance.


MOSERS, a statewide public pension fund, administers retirement, life insurance, and long-term disability benefits, covering about 100,000 state employees, retirees and beneficiaries.

To contact the <em>aiCIO</em> editor of this story: Paula Vasan at <a href=''></a>; 646-308-2742