June 2020
Registration Now Open for Rescheduled Event
The Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems is reopening registration for its 31st Annual Conference, rescheduled for Aug. 16-18 at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio. Registration is also available for pre-conference trustee and administrator training on Aug. 15 at the event site.

Don't Miss This Webinar Replay
On Wednesday, May 20, the Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems hosted  a webinar focused on the importance of pension plan liquidity management in response to COVID-19.

Disaster Declaration's extension includes Open Meetings Act provisions
On June 11, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued  a proclamation  extending the state's Disaster Declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A provision in the declaration allows governmental bodies, including state and local pension boards, to continue hosting remote meetings.

The declaration was to expire on June 12. The proclamation extends the declaration for another 30 days.

TEXPERS Shines Spotlight on Texas Public Employees
Each month, TEXPERS searches the internet to bring you stories of Texas public employees helping their communities.

State and local government employees fill essential roles in communities across the Lone Star State.

Some jobs are dangerous. Others receive little thanks. Many involve backbreaking work. But most are done with a dedication to the greater good that's often unmatched in the private sector.
TEXPERS Member Assists First Responders Through Charitable Foundation
A nonprofit co-founded by TEXPERS member Gary Lawson, recently made donations of gel and spray hand sanitizers to the New York City Fire Department in New York and the Irving Fire Department in Texas. A similar donation was to go to police and fire departments in El Paso.

Independence Corps Foundation made the donations, Lawson says, to help those who are saving American lives. On May 8, Lawson delivered the donation to Irving Fire Department's chief, V.L. Conley (pictured).

Lawson says the foundation will soon provide a powered wheelchair called an iBOT Lisa Ramsey, a former narcotics police officer in Fort Worth who was paralyzed as a result of a gunfight with drug dealers.

TEXPERS members who would like to learn more about the foundation's work may visit www.independencecorps.org .
Industry Veteran Milbrey 'Casey' Jones Dies at 78
Milbrey "Casey" Jones, a longtime institutional marketer in the investment industry, died of cancer on June 5, according to news reports from P&IOnline.com and Fin-News.com. He was 78 years old.

Considered a pioneer in the institutional public fund and Taft-Hartley marketing space, he was a co-founding senior partner at investment consultant Maybridge partners. Jones was also president emeritus of the State Association of County Retirement Systems in California.

He was well known to TEXPERS staff and members as he frequently attended the association's conferences, says Paul Brown, the association's president.
Membership Magazine
Due to stay-at-home orders, TEXPERS' membership magazine was not printed and mailed this quarter. However, an expanded and digital-only edition was created for our members. If you missed our newest edition in your email box, here it is.

Click here or on the magazine cover at left to access your digital flipbook.
Mark Your Calendar
Texas Public Pension News & Opinion
Texas ERS Commits $100 Million to Infrastructure
NEWS - Texas Employees Retirement System committed $100 million to Stonepeak Infrastructure Fund IV in May, a transaction report from the Austin-based system showed.

Investment officers of the $26.2 billion defined benefit plan previously committed $100 million in 2017 to the third fund in Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners' fund family and $68 million to the second fund in the series in 2015.


Note: Subscription may be required to access article.
Education, Research, and Studies
Corporate Tax Giveaways harm States' Revenue Needed for Pension Funding: Good Jobs First
REPORT - Good Jobs First, a non-profit, non-partisan research center focusing on economic development accountability, recently published “Putting State Pension Costs in Context.”

In part two of its 13-state report, the center found that Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas, and Vermont together spend about $7 billion per year in development subsidies and tax breaks for corporations, more than double the states’ yearly pension obligations. 

In Texas alone, 2019 Texas Public Employee Pension Obligations totaled $2.2 billion. The 2019 cost of subsidies and corporate tax breaks in Texas amounted to $4.5 billion.

The COVID-19 Crash and the
Abandonment of the Pensioner
ANALYSIS - Rob Arnott, the founder and chairman of the board of global asset manager Research Affiliates, looks at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic's crash and economic dislocations on pension funding and on the resources available to present and future retirees.

In writing the article, he says, he is asking the pension industry to study additional metrics of pension well-being that can provide a deeper understanding of the pension problem, "sharply exacerbated in a single quarter by a drop in asset values and a sharp rise in the net present value of future pension obligations."

Women Face 'Higher Hurdles' in Struggle to
Save for Retirement: Report
REPORT - While most Americans are struggling to save for retirement, women face even higher hurdles, largely stemming from the gender pay gap that eventually becomes a retirement wealth gap.

Older women receive about 80 percent of the retirement income older men receive, a disparity that mirrors the gender pay gap.

U.S. Public Pensions
CalPERS Prepares for the Long Haul
OPINION - Ben Meng, chief investment officers of the California Public Employees' Retirement System, sheds light on the investment strategy of the largest defined-benefit public pension fund in the U.S.

As market turmoil has thrown a spotlight on the challenges that public pension funds face in delivering retirement security to public employees, Meng says that by investing in private equity and credit, CalPERS expects to achieve 7% returns.


Note: Subscription may be required to access article.
Minnesota Law Allows Public Employees to Collect Pensions Despite Felony Convictions
NEWS - The former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd will be eligible to collect his pension, even if he is convicted. While some states have laws that allow for the forfeiture of pension benefits if an employee is convicted of a felony, Minnesota does not.

Fortunes Diverge for Public and Corporate Pensions
NEWS - The fortunes of public and corporate pensions continued to diverge in May as public pension funding grew and corporate pension funding declined for the second straight month.

Rhode Island Pension Plan Holds Down Losses Thanks to Treasuries and Algorithms
NEWS - A risk mitigation allocation of long duration U.S. Treasuries and algorithmic trading helped the Rhode Island pension system outdo 95% of all US public pension plans in the first quarter of 2020. 

Economics & Investments
Grappling with Budget Shortfalls, Texas Cities Prepare for Hard Choices
NEWS - The economic impact from the coronavirus pandemic has left some of Texas' biggest cities facing a difficult choice: cutting services like libraries, pools and parks, or raising taxes on their residents in the middle of the worst economy in a generation.

Texas is the Case Study for Economic Recovery from the COVID-19 Recession
OPINION - CNBC contributor Richard Fisher has a "bird's eye view of applied macro-economics" as Texas seeks to restart its economic engine.

"Just as we are working to flatten the mortality curve of the pernicious COVID-19 virus, state governments are seeking to flatten the mortality curve of businesses and open them up again," he writes. "Texas is an interesting case study."

IMF Set to Slash Economic Forecasts and Warns of a Crisis 'Unlike Anything the World has Seen'
NEWS - The global economy is on track for a more significant contraction than the International Monetary Fund estimated back in April, the institution’s chief economist said June 16.

U.S.-China Tensions Offer Investing Dangers but
a Potential Opportunity
NEWS - Tensions have increased between Mainland China and Hong Kong. U.S. reaction to tighter control by Beijing over the island that happens to be a global financial hub has been negative, spurring in turn harsh rhetoric from China's government.

In other words, geopolitical heat is on just in time for Summer.

But as the relationship between China and the island region deteriorate—which likely will mean difficult times ahead and a lot of financial uncertainty—investors have an interesting opportunity, if they want to invest in Chinese companies.

Aging & Retirement
Research Center Asks, 'Can Older Workers
Work from Home?'
BRIEF - A major issue concerning the COVID-19 pandemic is how it will affect future employment options for older workers. Public health officials have made it clear that older people are more at risk of complications from the virus, meaning they may be the last to return to work. Therefore, their ability to survive financially will depend on their ability to work from home. So, the question becomes how many older workers can work from home. 

The brief’s key findings are:
  • As the economy reopens, older workers – who are more at risk from COVID-19 – may be the last to return to work. 
  • The analysis, building on recent research, explores how many of these older workers can work from home.
  • Perhaps surprisingly, older workers are as well situated as younger workers in terms of having “work from home” jobs. 
  • However, only about 45 percent of all older workers are in such jobs, and they tend to be those with higher earnings and more education.
  • As a result, many of the most vulnerable older workers will face either the health risk of returning to work too early or the economic risk of running out of money.

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.