Investments

Articles about Investments that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees.

Mass. pension fund posts 15.2% gain for ’13

Managers add $7.9 billion to accounts, with biggest increases coming from US stocks

By Beth Healy
Globe Staff  
January 22, 2014

The Massachusetts state pension fund posted a 15.2 percent investment gain for 2013, as strong markets helped the fund’s managers add $7.9 billion to the retirement accounts of public employees.

US stocks provided the biggest boost to the fund, climbing 33.7 percent during the year, followed by investments in private equity, which rose 21.1 percent.

Gov. Patrick Files Final Budget Proposal

Includes 3% COLA & Funding Schedule Changes

JANUARY 22, 2014: Within the final budget proposal of his eight-year tenure as governor, Deval Patrick chose to include two provisions of critical long term importance to public retirees and surviving spouses.

As he has consistently done in the past, the governor has recommended a full 3% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for state and teacher retirees who retired before July 1, 2013. Like 2013, the new COLA will be paid on a base of $13,000.

Massachusetts Joins Institutional Carbon Clash

Massachusetts Joins Institutional Carbon Clash

NOVEMBER 21, 2013: An article in today’s DCDB Daily Free E-Newsletter says that Massachusetts Treasurer and Receiver General Steve Grossman, Chairman of the Pension Reserves Investment Management (PRIM) Board, manager of the state’s more than $54 billion Pension Reserve Investment Trust (PRIT), has lodged support for mission-based investing focused on climate change.

MACRS EXECUTIVE BOARD VOTES TO OPPOSE DIVESTITURE OF FOSSIL FUEL IN PENSION FUNDS

MACRS EXECUTIVE BOARD VOTES TO OPPOSE DIVESTITURE OF FOSSIL FUEL IN PENSION FUNDS

SEPTEMBER 13, 2013: Yesterday, the 18-member Executive Board of the Mass. Association of Contributory Retirement Systems (MACRS) unanimously voted to oppose legislation that would require the State’s Pension Fund Board (PRIM Board) to divest all holdings in the Fund, which include fossil fuel such as oil, gas and coal.

FALL LEGISLATIVE SESSION BEGINS

Busy Schedule For Public Service Committee

SEPTEMBER 5, 2013: With the summer recess now in the rearview mirror, the state Legislature has returned to Beacon Hill with an aggressive fall agenda.

On Tuesday, September 10th, the Joint Committee on Public Service will reconvene with what is expected to be a lengthy public hearing in the State House’s Gardner Auditorium. Association officials will be on hand to testify on further increases to the COLA base (S1259 & S1263) and the Option B & C recalculation (H2235).

Pension Fund Reaches $50 Billion Mark

Continues Climb From '08 Disaster

MARCH 2013 VOICE: A strong investment earnings last year, 2012, of 13.82%, has pushed the Commonwealth’s Pension Reserves Investment Trust (PRIT) Fund’s value over the $50 billion mark for the first time since 2007, when its peak value was $53.7 billion.

The recovery since Year 2008, a disasterous market year’s loss of -29.5 billion, which plunged the fund’s value to $37.8 billion has been a steady process with three of the past four years showing double-digit returns bringing the new value to $51.97 billion.

Pension bonds risky for state and local governments-Moody's

Municipal bonds that states and local governments use to pay for some of their public pension obligations rarely improve the issuer's credit quality, Moody's Investors Service said on Tuesday.

"If bond proceeds substitute for annual contributions to pension plans or are used to pay pensioners, we consider it a deficit borrowing and would view the financing as credit negative," Marcia Van Wagner, the senior Moody's analyst who wrote the report, said in a statement.

PENSION FUNDS

NOVEMBER 2012 VOICE: Buoyed by a strong market surge, the Commonwealth’s $50 billion Pension Reserves Investment Trust (PRIT) Fund increased in value by 8.27% for the first eight months of this year.

This is in contrast to our headline earlier this year, which reported that Year 2011 had been a dismal year with zero earnings, and a closing value of $47.1 billion.

Mass. needs more realistic goal for pension fund returns

Boston Globe Editorial, June 24, 2012

In some ways, lowering expectations for returns on the state’s pension fund investments is an easy call. Current state law requires the Massachusetts pension board to assume an 8.25 percent annualized rate of return, but in recent years that has come to seem too optimistic. Massachusetts needs to start stepping its pension expectations down — but in a deliberate way, to limit the impact on government agencies that will need to contribute more.

State Loses Top Pension Fund Manager

State Loses Top Pension Fund Manager

JUNE 11, 2012: The resignation of Stan Mavromates, the longtime chief investment officer of the Commonwealth’s $50 billion pension fund, has caused some concern among the retirement systems of the Commonwealth holding membership in the fund.

Although the bulk of the Fund is the State and Teachers’ Pension fund, the majority of our 103 city, town and county boards have placed their pension funds within PRIT and depend on PRIT’s investment earnings to increase the growth and value of their own funds.