April 2020
Texas Public Pension News
As more workers face shelter-in-place orders in their communities to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, public pension systems are maintaining operations by having staff work remotely.

Remote working, or telecommuting, allows your fund's professionals to continue doing their work outside of a traditional office setting. But these are unprecedented times that require some out-of-the-box thinking.

PRB to work with plans facing delays in mandated reporting due to pandemic
COVID-19, the new coronavirus causing an outbreak of respiratory illness and workplace shutdowns worldwide, should reach out to the  Texas Pension Review Board  if state-mandated reporting deadlines cannot be met. 

TEXPERS board member named new director of Dallas Park and Recreation Department
John Jenkins, who serves as second vice president on TEXPERS' board of directors, was recently named the new director of the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. The Dallas Park and Recreation Board made the announcement on April 2.

Jenkins succeeds Willis Winters who retired in October 2019. Jenkins most recently served as interim director of the department where he has worked for 25 years. Previously, he served as deputy director and assistant director of park maintenance services.

Texas Employees splits $154 million between two alts managers
Texas Employees Retirement System , Austin, invested or committed $154 million in March, a transaction report showed.

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Texas Teachers assigns over $400 million to five alts funds
Texas Teacher Retirement System , Austin, committed a total of $409 million to five alternative investment funds in March, a transaction report from the $167.2 billion fund showed.

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Austin Employees ups U.S. Treasuries to capture returns, portfolio hedging
Austin (Texas) City Employees' Retirement System's trustees approved tactical changes to asset class weightings, adding more exposure to U.S. Treasuries at the expense of U.S. corporate credit, during a March 31 board meeting for the $2.5 billion pension fund.

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TEXPERS' Pension Observer magazine
Did you miss the most recent edition of TEXPERS' membership magazine in your mailbox? No worries. Here is our  digital version .
Mark Your Calendar
TEXPERS' 31st Annual Conference is rescheduled for San Antonio, Texas!
Due to the pandemic, TEXPERS' Annual Conference is rescheduled for Aug. 16-18 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Antonio, Texas.

The conference was previously set to be held next month in Galveston, Texas. Event registration will reopen in May. If you previously registered to attend the conference, your registration will automatically transfer to the San Antonio event. Click here to read why TEXPERS' board of directors decided to reschedule the conference.

Attending TEXPERS' conference is one of the best things you can do for your service to a public employee retirement plan as an administrators, trustee or investment manager. By attending sessions, listening to speakers, and talking with your peers, you'll have the opportunity to learn about industry trends, gain some new skills, and maike all kinds of new connections. Some of you may even register to attend pre-conference trustee training classes scheduled for Aug. 15 to fulfill some state-mandated minimum education requirements.

The Annual Conference replaces our Educational Forum, previously set for the same date and location.
U.S. Public Pension News
Retired N.J. public workers can return to help coronavirus fight without pension implications
Gov. Phil Murphy  signed an executive order Monday  that will allow public employees to return to work in New Jersey to help  fight the coronavirus pandemic  sweeping the state without any implications related to pensions.

Oregon's new PERS strategy gets its first test
Oregon’s new strategy for managing its multi-billion dollar public-pension fund through an uncertain economy is getting its first test .

Tennessee public-pension system loses value in pandemic, but is in better shape than most states
Tennessee’s public-pension system has lost slightly more than 5 percent of its overall value since the end of the last fiscal year, primarily because of the response to COVID-19’s effect on the economy, according to the Tennessee Department of Treasury.

Despite the losses, the impact on those receiving pensions likely will be minimal because Tennessee's system is well-funded, Shelli King, director of communications at the Department of Treasury, told The Center Square in an email.

Despite economic havoc from coronavirus, state public pension officials say plans in good shape
Although markets have tumbled since the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state’s pension systems are reassuring retirees that payments will be processed as usual.

Economic & Investment News
State and local governments reversed 8 consecutive months of employment gains in March
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that state and local governments lost an estimated 6,000 jobs in March 2020, with 8,000 local government additions offset by 14,000 state government losses. March 2020 marked the reversal of eight consecutive months of increase in aggregate state and local employment. Because the BLS survey measures pay periods that include the 12th day of the month, this update predates much of the virus-related economic response.

Texas gets double punch from coronavirus and oil shock
Texas had one of the best economic records of any U.S. state after the 2008 financial crisis. In this crisis, it faces the prospect of a deep and prolonged downturn.

Watch Texas Tribune's interview with Texas Comptroller about the coronavirus’ impact on the state economy
Texas Tribune executive editor  Ross Ramsey  sat down with Texas Comptroller  Glenn Hegar  for a discussion on how the novel coronavirus outbreak in Texas has impacted the state’s economy and workforce.

Senator urges Labor Department to extend ERISA filing deadlines
The Department of Labor should extend Employee Retirement Income Security Act filing deadlines for certain notice and disclosure requirements in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said.

In an April 2  letter  to Preston Rutledge, assistant secretary of labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration, Ms. Murray, ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, said the Labor Department should exercise its new authority provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act and extend filing deadlines.

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Making sense of Fed policy during COVID-19
The Fed’s response to the economy and market breakdown engendered by the COVID-19 crisis has been unprecedented — not only in scale, but how quickly new policy tools have been used to address rapidly tightening financial conditions. The following is a short post intended to demystify the “alphabet soup” of Fed tools and what each tool is trying to fix, and provide a list of additional policies we can reasonably expect in the near-term.

Stimulus deal includes temporary relief for retirement plans
The Senate approved a roughly $2 trillion economic stimulus package for affected companies and workers that also provides some temporary relief for retirement plan sponsors and participants.

Aging & Retirement
Boomers facing tough financial decisions
For baby boomers who thought they were on the path to retirement, the road is shifting beneath their feet.

Danielle Harrison, a financial planner in Columbia, Missouri, sees a raft of problems stemming from the COVID-19-induced economic slowdown.

If people can work longer, they will
A majority of adults believe there’s better than a 50-50 chance they will still be working full-time after age 65, a  new study  found.

The evidence suggests this goal is fairly realistic.

About Us 
The Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems (TEXPERS) is a statewide voluntary nonprofit association that provides education and legislative advisory services to the trustees, administrators, professional service providers and employee groups that manage the retirement money of police, firefighters, municipal and district employees in cities across Texas.