Retirees Association

DDN: Ohio’s public pension systems lost money in 2018, returns show

Pensions folder

Excerpt from the Dayton Daily News

The Ohio Highway Patrol Retirement System took a 4.73 percent hit, which is worse than its benchmark comparison did at a 3.51 percent loss.

“As with the other systems, December 2018 was a difficult month, so the timing was not favorable to us,” said OHPRS Director Mark Atkeson.

The good news is that so far in 2019 the fund has rebounded, making a 10 percent gain and adding $68 million, he said.

The remaining funds beat their benchmarks but still suffered negative returns: Public Employees Retirement System, - 2.99 percent; Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund, -1.78 percent; State Teachers Retirement System, - 1.75 percent; School Employees Retirement System, -1.28 percent.

The U.S.-China trade war was a catalyst for a fourth-quarter market downturn, and inconsistent messages from the Federal Reserve amplified other concerns in the market, according to RVK Inc., an investment consulting firm. RVK reported its analysis of the systems 2018 investment performance to the Ohio Retirement Study Council.

Collectively, the five funds have investment assets valued at more than $190 billion, spread out in stocks, bonds, real estate, cash, hedge funds and other investments. The systems each set an expected investment rate of return, ranging from 7.2 percent to 6 percent – targets they need to consistently average or beat over the long haul.