California Teachers Union pension fund admits it can't achieve 7.5%, drops its investment goal to 7%. That increases the amount the state has to put into the fund to try to keep it solvent and it almost certainly is still far too high a goal to reflect reality.
But if California is LaLa Land, Connecticut is the land of steady delusions. We're earning 1.5% on our pension funds, and projecting an 8% performance.
The fund uses contributions from government and from teachers, as well as investment earnings, to pay an average annual pension of $56,700 to about 51,000 retirees who do not qualify for social security for their time as a teacher.
When earnings fall, contributions typically rise.
The return on investments announced this week over the last two fiscal years was 1.5 percent. Because the teachers’ pension system has large unfunded liabilities, it can experience cash-flow challenges. Because of that, some of the investments must be short-term and easily converted to cash, and such investments often yield a low return.
The fund still has a lot of work to do to completely rebound from the recession. Before the recession, the fund had enough assets to cover 70 percent of its obligations. That fell to 59 percent by June 30, 2014. Analysts reported this week that fell to 56 percent as of June 30. Actuaries typically cite 80 percent as a fiscally healthy level, which the analysts projected the state should reach by 2027. [A date that was just pushed back by our legislature yesterday, naturally, by deferring increased "contributions"].
This means the state’s unfunded teachers pension liabilities increased from a cumulative $10.8 billion in 2014 to $13.2 billion going into the current fiscal year.
Greenwich had better double that $30,000 appropriation for its PR campaign to jack up local real estate values - we're going to need it.