Investments of the
The Oklahoma Teachers Retirement System had a 10 percent return on investment during FY 2018, and stands at
The Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System, the state's second-largest, is valued at
Other returns included 11.7 percent for the Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System, which is valued at
Miller said the return seen in the firefighters' pension fund ranked in the top 1 percent of all public pensions nationwide, with the teachers' performance in the top 7 percent nationally. All seven systems have outperformed the assumed rate of return the past two years, and Miller noted that experts agree that performance "is unsustainably high."
"Examining returns over a few years is interesting, but long-term performance compared to assumed rates of return are the key measurement," Miller said.
Similarly, continuing with sound policies is important to ensure these funds remain healthy. Bad policy contributed to making a mess of the state's public pensions.
For years, the teachers' retirement system was one of the worst-funded in the nation, in part because lawmakers would divert money from the system and use it elsewhere. Lawmakers also would approve cost of living adjustments, but fail to fund them.
In 2010, the state's unfunded pension liability stood at
The leader of the reform push was Rep.
"As a result, resources would be cut to fund other priorities," he said. "The combination of funding cuts and inevitable market corrections led to growing financial instability."
McDaniel's call is for leaders to stay on top of this issue and handle it wisely. "The mistakes of the past should be remembered instead of repeated," he said. It's wise advice that should be heeded by those who make up the Legislature in 2019 and beyond.
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