Investors - JULY 7, 2020

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How U.S. pension funds are faring amid COVID-19

by Kali Persall

As COVID-19 continues to sweep across the United States, many pension systems are restructuring their investment strategies to help mitigate the financial effects of the pandemic.

With beneficiaries counting on payouts, many pension plans have been forthcoming about the state of their assets. Jase Auby, CIO of the Teacher Retirement System (TRS) of Texas, shared in a filmed investment meeting that the first quarter of 2020 carried historically high volatility, which resulted in a drawdown for the TRS Trust, which was higher than levels of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of 2007 to 2008.

The trust value declined from $157 billion as of Aug. 31, 2019, to an estimated $148 billion at the end of March 2020, according to Auby. However, he noted that the diversification of the trust and long-term strategy are designed to weather market draw-downs so the decline did not impact the trust’s ability to pay out benefits.

Auby said TRS is planning to actively rebalance

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