CalPERS Urged to Exceed 7% Return Projections

Concerns that municipalities won’t be able to meet pension payment requirements has led the League of California Cities to urge the CalPERS Investment Committee to think “out of the box” to surpass its current 7% return projections. This according to a recent article in Chief Investment Officer.

At a recent meeting with the investment committee, legislative representative Dane Hutchings cited a CalPERS report showing that 180 of 449 participating cities and towns had an individual funding ratio of between 60% and 70%, and that a significant number of those could fall to between 50% and 60%–a level that threatens a fund’s financial viability.

“Cities want to make it clear that our foundation is rocky at best,” Hutching said, adding, “It’s crunch time, and quite frankly, we simply cannot stand another market slowdown or substandard returns.” CalPERS, the largest pension plan in the U.S., is currently 64% funded, the article reports.

According to the article, in January the league released a report showing that by 2024, “California cities anticipate that they will spend an average of 15.8% of their general fund budgets on pensions,” up from the current average of 8.3%.