The U.S.-China trade war was a catalyst for a fourth-quarter market downturn, and inconsistent messages from the Federal Reserve amplified other concerns in the market, according to RVK Inc., an investment consulting firm. RVK reported its analysis of the systems 2018 investment performance to the Ohio Retirement Study Council.
Collectively, the five funds have investment assets valued at more than $190 billion, spread out in stocks, bonds, real estate, cash, hedge funds and other investments. The systems each set an expected investment rate of return, ranging from 7.2 percent to 8 percent – targets they need to consistently average or beat over the long haul.
In recent years, the pension systems have scaled back benefits and retiree health care coverage in an effort to keep the funds on solid ground.
A lawsuit brought by journalist John Damschroder against OPERS and Glouston Capital Partners was recently settled through mediation and dismissed, according to the Ohio Supreme Court. When asked for a copy of the settlement agreement, OPERS spokesman Mike Pramik said the retirement system does not have a copy and is not a party to the settlement.
Damschroder was seeking financial information about OPERS contracts with hedge, private equity and real estate investment managers. OPERS redacted information from the documents, which prompted Damschroder to file suit.