Thursday, September 18, 2008

Kentucky pension system riding out economic news

Kentucky's public employee pension systems are in a somewhat stable position because of "conservative" portfolios, while riding out the bumpy stretch on Wall Street with the rest of investors, officials said.

"We are fairly well-diversified and we've had a conservative nature, so that has helped us not lose as much as other pension plans may be losing," said Robert "Mike" Burnside, executive director of the Kentucky Retirement Systems. "Our portfolio should protect us as much as possible, but we're still going to lose during this time period."

Burnside said the rate of return for the retirement systems' investments was down 4.21 percentage points during the fiscal year that ended June 30. He said it's too early to know how much that rate had slipped so far in Kentucky's first quarter of fiscal year 2009.

State Treasurer Todd Hollenbach, whose office monitors the more than $3 billion worth of funds the state's government has invested, said Kentucky does "hold a little bit of Lehman bonds." "But we're getting the payments on them, and we're not concerned about the situation," he said.

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