SDRS showing a rebound in market value

State Investment Officer Matt Clark reported this morning to the South Dakota Retirement System trustees that the SDRS portfolio’s market value was up 24.9 percent from July 1 through the end of March. The value was approximately $6.86 billion. That’s considerably better than the $5.6 billion at the close of the 2009 fiscal year on June 30, but there’s a long climb still ahead to get back to the $8.3 billion peak of several years ago. If the portfolio can finish fiscal 2010 up 25 percent, the system would still be under-funded by 7 percent, in terms of market value to known long-range liability.

The system is built on an average annual return assumption of 7.75 percent growth in market value. Assuming the portfolio can hit the 25 percent growth mark this year, the fund would still need to grow by more than the 7.75 percent average. In fact, tTo get back to fully-funded status, the average annual return will need to average 8.6 percent for the next five years; 8.2 percent for the next 10 years; 8.0 percent for the next 20 years; or 7.9 percent for the next 30 years. So there remains a challenge.

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About Bob Mercer

I am a newspaper reporter in Pierre where I cover state government, issues and politics for the Aberdeen American News, the Black Hills Pioneer, the Mitchell Daily Republic, the Pierre Capital Journal, the Rapid City Journal, the Watertown Public Opinion and the Yankton Press & Dakotan. I began covering the Legislature in 1985 and have lived in Pierre since December 1986. I grew up in Wisconsin, worked my way through college, took my first full-time newspapers jobs in Wyoming, and have lived in South Dakota since the summer of 1984 when I moved to Aberdeen to join the American News. I worked for the Rapid City Journal as its state government reporter in Pierre from late 1992 through late 1998. I spent four years as press secretary and a senior aide to Gov. Bill Janklow during his fourth and final term from late 1998 through 2002. I returned to journalism in January 2003 as a self-employed reporter, providing state government coverage to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre and, depending on the year, Aberdeen newspapers. In 2008, the Aberdeen American News offered to hire me as full-time member of the AAN staff, with my reports continuing to be available to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre, Yankton and Rapid City papers. The new arrangement has been in effect since January 2009 as the seven papers continue their remarkable dedication to their readers and the general public, as the only South Dakota news outlets with a full-time reporter covering state government in Pierre throughout the year. In addition to focusing on the Legislature during the annual winter session and its various activities during the interim periods between sessions, I spend many days throughout the year -- traveling as often necessary -- to cover state government boards and commissions which oversee the state universities, technical institutes, outdoors, water, environment, business, public schools, banking, agriculture, utilities, health care and various other areas of public interest. I purposely don't register to vote because of my profession; the last time I recall voting in a presidential election was the first time, 1976, when I had just turned 18. I think I voted for Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford. Make of that what you want, just don't make much of it.

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