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Thursday, July 21, 2011

It turns out the Florida Pension system is doing very well

So much for what Gov. Scott would have us believe. -cpg

From the Florida Times Union

by Matt Dixon

Lifted by gains in the stock market, the Florida Retirement System pension plan gained $19 billion in the fiscal year that ended on June 30, the News Service of Florida reported Wednesday.

That is a gain of 22 percent, the biggest in 25 years, reports the State Board of Administration, and larger than the 14 percent gain from last year.

The total value of the pension plan has soared to $128.4 billion.

The state pension plan performed better than its benchmark, a goal of 21.7 percent, and better than many of its peers that have also reported returns for the fiscal year.

Ash Williams, executive director and chief investment officer for the State Board of Administration, said "by staying the course and being able to use strong partnerships to take advantage of market opportunities" the pension plan was able to rebound by $54 billion from a recent low of $83.3 billion just 27 months later.

But even with promising returns, thousands of employees are fleeing the traditional pension plan to the state's 401(k)-style investment plan, which reported an 18.1 percent return and has 136,500 participants.

About 8,300 public employees made the switch this year, which is double the number of employees that made the same switch last year.

And nearly 25 percent of new hires chose the 401(k)-style investment plan, a slight increase from recent years.

The Florida Retirement System pension plan serves nearly 1 million people, making it one of the largest public pension plans in the nation., (904) 359-4174


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