Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Retirement Officials: Louisiana pensions secure

State retirement system officials say their members and retirees can rest easy in their investments despite a troubled stock market.

Though several systems lost money during the fiscal year that ended June 30, previous years were more successful, officials say, and the overall outlook is still good.

At the end of June, stock prices as indicated by the Dow Jones Industrials index fell to the lowest level in nearly two years. Other stock indicators gaining ground after mid-March lows also took a dive a few weeks ago.

Retirement system officials said they are not overly concerned about the long-term impact on their systems as a whole because of the cyclical nature of the stock market and their past successes.

System officials said they rely more on a broader actuarial analysis, which takes into account the prior three years of market returns.

“This means that the system never feels the direct impact of very low or very high market returns,” said Cindy Rougeou, Louisiana State Employees’ Retirement System executive director, in an e-mail response.

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