Monday, July 2, 2007

Municipal Police Employees’ Retirement System (MPERS) pays off loan for Texas golf resort

A Louisiana police pension fund paid off a $30 million line of credit which Shreveport golf pro Hal Sutton is using to build an exclusive luxury resort in Texas according to this article from The Advocate.

Randy Zinna, an attorney for the Municipal Police Employees’ Retirement System — or MPERS — confirmed the pension fund took care of the Bank One loan when it
came due this month.

MPERS maintains $1.4 billion in retirement benefits for 10,000 Louisiana police-department employees. Municipalities across the state pay 13.75 percent of their payrolls to the system.

The pension fund initially only guaranteed the $30 million line of credit for the
2,200-acre Texas Hill Country golf development known as Boot Ranch.

The newest expenditure comes at a time when the pension fund
still has a $279 million shortfall in the amount of money it needs to pay the
benefits of all its retirees. That shortfall — known as unfunded accrued
liability — had shrunk from $423 million two years ago.

Zinna said Sutton will repay MPERS with money he makes on real-estate sales and golf club memberships and other income from Boot Ranch.

On Saturday, MPERS ended its formal partnership with Sutton on the Boot Ranch project, with the exception of awaiting repayment of $30 million.