Starting in January of this year, we decided that we would like have a quarterly update from LAGERS Executive Secretary and Chief Investment Officer. So, a few days ago, I sat down with Keith and Brian to get a quick update from the last quarter.
Keith had a few interesting topics that he brought to our attention. One that I found to be particularly interesting was the addition of 12 new LAGERS employers. That in itself is par for the course because LAGERS adds 10 – 15 new employers every year. The part that I found to be interesting was that of those 12 employers, 7 switched from a 401(k) type defined contribution account. That is close to 60% of the new employers changed from a defined contribution plan because it wasn’t providing them with the retirement security they desired.
Additionally, Keith mentioned the fact that a record number of LAGERS members, 232, retired on January 1st of this year. Join us in congratulating these new retirees!
Then, Brian gave us a quick update about the performance of the LAGERS investment portfolio. One part that I found to be quite reassuring was the fact that our 20 year investment return number is currently 7.9%. This is encouraging because LAGERS long-term goal is to reach 7.25%. By meeting this goal it ensures financial stability of the system and potentially stable contributions for our employers.
Brian also spoke about the efforts of the investment team to expand our private equity investments in Europe and in the United States. Private equity, he explained, is a long-term investment and makes a lot of sense for LAGERS since we are long-term investors.
Finally, Keith finished up with some of the actions our Board of Trustees took in the last quarter. One of those actions was to complete a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis to ensure our system is planning for the present and future. Finally, LAGERS adopted a new vision statement that states “a secure retirement for all.” This is something that LAGERS firmly believes in and works every day to ensure our membership has a secure retirement plan.
Keep an eye out for another update next quarter!