September 2020
Members Can Now Track Continuing Education Credits Earned Online
The TEXPERS recently launched its redesigned website. The website,, offers a user-friendly browsing experience for the association’s members, prospective members, and business partners.
How Pension Funds Cope with
Work-From-Home Environment
The novel coronavirus pandemic has forced many companies to find new ways to operate as federal and state health departments continue to promote social distancing. For their employees' wellbeing, private- and public-sector employers alike have had to develop new or expand existing remote work policies - and that includes public pension systems.

As the pandemic continues, many workplaces are attempting to figure out how remote work has impacted their operations, what their priorities should be, and what the future may hold for remote work. The National Association of State Retirement Administrators recently surveyed its members to see how their pension systems' remote work policies have changed since the novel coronavirus pandemic forced many workplaces to operate under social distancing recommendations of national and local health departments.
Pension Industry Thought Leaders Discuss Outsourced CIO Relationships
What are the general duties of pension plan consultants and outsourced chief investment officers? TEXPERS gathered industry thought leaders for an educational webinar to give the trustees and administrators of TEXPERS' Member Systems advice on what pension plans should do to take stock of their funds' advisory relationships.

During the webinar, held Sept. 15, a moderator used a question-and-answer format allowing the panelists to identify some of the differences between non-discretionary and discretionary advisory models.
Public Employees Go Above and Beyond Duty
Each month, TEXPERS searches the internet for stories of Texas public employees going the extra mile to help their communities.

Check out what we found this month.
Membership Magazine
Due to pandemic social distancing recommendations, TEXPERS' membership magazine was not printed and mailed this quarter. However, an expanded and digital-only edition of TEXPERS Pension Observer 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.

Watch your email for the next quarterly edition, Vol 4., which publishes digitally in October.
Mark Your Calendar
Additional Events

National Council on Teacher Retirement
98th Annual Conference
Oct. 12-15, 2020
Virtual Conference

Texas Public Pension News & Opinion
Texas TRS Names Heather Traeger General Counsel
NEWS - The $160 billion Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) has promoted Heather Traeger to the position of general counsel from chief compliance officer and deputy general counsel.

Traeger replaces Carolina de Onís, who has moved less than a mile away to join the University of Texas/Texas A&M Investment Company. Texas TRS has not yet named a successor to take over Traeger’s former roles.
How Texas Investors Viewed Private Equity Before the Pandemic Struck
NEWS - Heading into the pandemic, institutional investors in Texas were expecting their private equity portfolios to produce double digit gains exceeding the stock market, according to a recent paper published by the Journal of Applied Corporate Finance.
Texas Employees Splits $125 Million Commitment to 2 Alts Strategies
The $27.4 billion Texas Employees Retirement System, Austin, committed a total of $125 million to two alternative investment funds in August, a transaction report showed.
Subscription may be required to access article.
Education, Research, and Studies
The Status of Local Government Pension Plans in
the Midst of COVID-19
GUIDE - Market indexes have been thrust into the limelight with the raising market share of passively managed vehicles, such as exchange-traded funds. Indexes, originally intended as analytical tools and yardsticks for the measurement of active managers, increasingly serve to underlie investment strategies. 
In this guide:
  • What an index is for 
  • Index provider competition 
  • Market indexes as commodities 
  • Differentiation of investments with strategic betaindexes 
  • Indexes evolution - sustainability and beyond
The Growing Burden of Retirement
STUDY - The burden of preparing for retirement is increasing as workers face more risk and rising costs. Escalating housing, healthcare, and long-term care costs in retirement are creating retirement obstacles for Americans. Also, the shift from pensions to 401(k) plans has pushed more retirement risk onto workers.
These findings are detailed in a new study from the National Institute on Retirement Security.
U.S. Public Pensions News & Opinion
Ohio Pension Funds Jumps Into
Gold Market With 5% Allocation
NEWS - According to media reports, the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund (OP&F) approved a 5% allocation into gold in a move to diversify its portfolio and hedge against the risk of inflation. The fund currently holds about $16 billion in assets under management. The gold recommendation was made by the fund's investment consultant, Wilshire Associates,
Danaher Sued by Pension Fund to
Add Racial Diversity to Board
NEWS - Danaher Corp. is the latest U.S. company caught in the cross hairs of a new weapon of the resurgent social-justice movement: investor lawsuits demanding minority representation on boards of directors.

The complaint against the $148 billion medical equipment giant is different because it was filed by an institutional investor, the pension fund of Pontiac, Michigan, a majority-Black suburb of Detroit.
Missouri PSRS/PEERS Executive Director Announces December Retirement
NEWS RELEASE - After 43 years in the pension industry and 22 years serving as the executive director of the Public School and Education Employee Retirement Systems of Missouri (PSRS/PEERS), M. Steve Yoakum announced today he plans to retire, effective Dec, 1, 2020.
Economic News & Opinion
New Fed Approach to Inflation Could Keep Rates Lower for Longer
NEWS - The Federal Reserve announced a major policy shift on Aug. 27, saying that it is willing to allow inflation to run hotter than normal in order to support the labor market and broader economy.

In a move that Chairman Jerome Powell called a “robust updating” of Fed policy, the central bank formally agreed to a policy of “average inflation targeting.” That means it will allow inflation to run “moderately” above the Fed’s 2% goal “for some time” following periods when it has run below that objective.
Texas Factory Output Expands for
Third Straight Month
NEWS - Texas factories have logged three consecutive months of increased production since many sharply curtailed operations in the spring, when the economy was reeling from the initial shock wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
Economists: State's Economic Outlook Hinges on Virus Fight
NEWS - As Gov. Greg Abbott potentially prepares to ease some restrictions aimed at curtailing spread of the coronavirus, the prognosis for the Texas economy is hanging in the balance.

That’s because there’s a direct line between the prevalence of coronavirus cases in the state and the pace of its business activity, according to a number of economists.
Technology News & Opinion
$5.3B Manager Falls Victim to Cyberattack
NEWS - Frost Investment Advisors has been hit by a cyberattack targeting a member of its investment team.

The email address belonging to the firm’s senior research analyst, Andrew Duncan, sent out a message asking recipients to click on a link and enter login credentials, according to a “courtesy notification” email from the firm that FundFire received Sept. 1.
Subscription may be required to access article.
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.