That's how much the Hawaii Employees' Retirement System gained over the past year, according to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, the only publication yesterday to draw attention to the record performance. See story here. This amounts to a whopping 17.3% annual gain, which comes after a switch to new portfolio advisers, Pension Consulting Alliance of Portland, Oregon.
Policy makers and political observers will be sure to make a note of it for next session. The ERS fund has been eyed as a source for venture capital. SB1365 encourages the ERS board to invest in Hawaii venture capital and to report to the legislature on an amount that might be prudent to invest without jeopardizing retirement funds.
On a broader level, what impact does this have, if any, on the state's ability to comply with GASB reporting of unfunded health and retirement fund liability? It's a complex issue, and we'll be using the blog to try to demystify this and other legislative issues going forward.