Hold the Phone: CalPERS Reports Investment Return of 11.2%

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System says its investments yielded an 11.2% return for the fiscal year ending June 30. That is a marked improvement over the previous fiscal year when the rate of return was just 0.6%. It’s also the fund’s best showing since 2014.

What does it all mean? It depends who you ask. CalPERS execs are touting it as evidence of growing stability. Yvonne Walker of the Service Employees International Union Local 1000 similarly extolled the new figures and blasted the “doomsday predictions” that preceded them. But pension skeptics are, well, skeptical.

“Of course, impressive stock-market returns are a good thing that reduce the amount of taxpayer-backed pension obligations,” writes columnist Steven Greenhut. “But one good year doesn't fix a problem that has been two decades in the making."

“It could take decades to make up not only for past years of poor stock-market performance, but for the massive and relentless retroactive pension increases that state and municipal governments have been granting their workers since 1999," he adds.


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