PERS assets up $3.1 billion |

PERS assets up $3.1 billion

by Geoff Dornan

The head of Nevada’s Public Employee Retirement System told lawmakers this week that the system’s assets have increased $3.1 billion this fiscal year.

That brings PERS’ total assets to $31.8 billion, Executive Officer Tina Leiss told the Legislative Interim Retirement and Benefits Committee.

For the fiscal year that ended June 30, she said, PERS generated a 12.4 percent rate of return on its investments for most public employees, ending the year at $28.7 billion.

The Legislators’ fund generated 12.9 percent, ending the year with $4.6 million in assets, and the Judicial fund generated 13.2 percent for a total value of $74.9 million.

That puts the system in the top 11 percent of public pension plans nationwide over the past five years, she said.

PERS has generated an average 9.4 percent return on investment over the past 29 years, putting the system in top 25 percent of large public pension plans.

PERS provides retirement benefits for about 190 public employers in Nevada. Its investments include U.S. and international stocks and bonds as well as real estate and private equity investments. The system holds more than 7,000 individual securities to diversity risk and stabilize returns.

At the same time, Leiss said PERS management costs are just one-tenth of a percent of assets, some 80 percent below the industry average. That, she said, saves an estimated $110 million a year compared with the average public pension fund.