Clearfield County Employee Retirement Fund Shows Continuing Steady Growth
CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County Retirement Board, consisting of Commissioners Tony Scotto, John A. Sobel and Mark B. McCracken along with Treasurer Carol Fox and acting Controller Tom Adamson, recently met with Pat Wing of Peirce Park Group to review the Investment Performance Report for 2016.
The Clearfield County Employee Retirement Fund continues to generate strong returns with an annualized return of 8.7 percent over the past five years. This ranks the fund in the top 20 percent in a national database of public funds of all sizes, according to the board.
For 2016, the fund showed an investment gain of $1.9 million and has gained $11.4 million over the last five years. Since investment policy changes were enacted by the retirement board in July of 2010, the fund has grown from a market value of $18.7 million to $31.4 million at end of 2016.
As a result of the ongoing rally of financial markets during the first quarter of 2017, the market value of the fund stands at $32,359,559 as of Feb. 27.
Also presented by Peirce Park Group for the retirement board’s review was the 2016 Pennsylvania County Pension Plan Report, which contains investment and return data comparisons for retirement funds for 47 of 67 Pennsylvania counties.
The report shows that Clearfield County was one of only two counties that averaged more than an 8 percent return over the five-year period ending in 2015.
Additional data provided by the county’s actuarial advisor, Hay Group, shows the funded ratio at 93 percent, which qualifies the fund to be rated as “very well-funded.”
In comparison, the Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System (SERS) fund has a funded ratio of only 58.7 percent as released in a report by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on Feb. 10, which is available online.
According to the retirement board, strong investment gains coupled with careful monitoring of costs has allowed the county annual contribution to decrease from a high of $881,861 in 2010 to $571,131 in 2016, representing a 35 percent decrease.
The total fund allocation currently has 42.9 percent in Domestic Equity, 11.9 percent in Global Equity, 9.8 percent in International Equity, 32.0 percent in Domestic Fixed Income and 3.4 percent in Real Estate with all categories falling within the investment policy limits implemented by the retirement board.
The Clearfield County Retirement Board utilizes local bank County National Bank (CNB) as the custodian for the fund. All monthly transactions for retirement payroll and employee deductions are processed by another local bank, Clearfield Bank and Trust, now CBT Bank.
In a joint statement, Scotto, Sobel and McCracken, Fox and Adamson said “we feel the annual Investment Performance Report for the county employee’s retirement fund shows the fund remains financially strong, and we continue to make fiscally prudent decisions to protect both the interests of the taxpayers and the money our employees have invested for their future retirements.”