Monday, August 1, 2016 – 11:00 a.m.

The pension fund for employees and retirees of San Bernardino County, California will post a negative return for it’s fiscal year just ended.

The San Bernardino County Employees Retirement Association (SBCERA) recorded an investment loss of -1.1% for its fiscal year ending June 30, 2016.

It’s a number falling well-below the assumed return of 7.50%.

Fund assets stand at $8.09 billion. That’s a decrease of $125.7 million from the year ago period.

  • In the three–year period ended June 30, 2016 the Fund returned 5.0%.
  • In the five-year period ended June 30, 2016 the Fund returned 6.1% per year.
  • In the ten-year period ended June 30, 2016 the Fund returned 4.8% per year.

The twenty-year and twenty-five year return numbers can’t be much better.

SBCERA, like many other struggling pension funds, is relying on its thirty-year return figure to paint a, “The-sky-is-blue”, rosey scenario.

We’ll have to wait for an update to that figure, which was 8.80% as of March 31, 2016.

Nevertheless, the county will, at some point, be forced to increase it’s annual pension contributions to the pension fund.

The negative results will also place pressure on the pension plan trustee’s to reduce the assumed annual rate of return. A development that will further increase contributions from taxpayers.