Clearfield County Employees’ Retirement Fund Shows Strong Investment Returns

CLEARFIELD – Clearfield County’s retirement fund is showing strong investment returns, the board announced in a press release Tuesday.

The county’s Retirement Board consists of Commissioners Tony Scotto, John A. Sobel and Mark B. McCracken along with Treasurer Carol Fox.

They recently met with Pat Wing of Marquette Associates Inc. to review the Clearfield County Employees’ Retirement Fund Investment Performance Report for the first quarter of 2019.

The fund had an investment return of 8.2 percent for the quarter, net of investment management fees, generating an investment gain of more than $2.7 million.

Over the past year ending March 31, the fund had an investment return of 5.0 percent, ranking the fund in the top 18 percent in a national database of public funds of all sizes.

Over the past seven years, it’s generated strong performance with an annualized return of 7.8 percent.  This ranks the fund in the top 17 percent in a national database of public funds of all sizes.

During this period, the fund has grown from a market value of $23.6 million to $35.4 million. According to the 2018 actuarial valuation report, the Pension Plan had a funded ratio of more than 90 percent, which is considered “well-funded” by actuarial standards.

Wing also discussed two investment cost-savings opportunities for the board to consider. Following Wing’s recommendation, the board took action to formally approve the changes at Tuesday’s Retirement Board meeting.

These changes will lower the investment management fees of the fund from 0.35 percent to 0.32 percent, based upon values at the end of the first quarter.

Wing noted that these changes will leave the investment management fees for the fund notably below what most public pension funds pay.

As of March 31, the total fund allocation is comprised of 38.9 percent in Domestic Equity, 14.4 percent in Global Equity, 10.2 percent in International Equity, 31.3 percent in Domestic Fixed Income and 5.2 percent in Real Estate with all categories falling within the investment policy limits implemented by the board.

The board utilizes local 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, a division of Riverview Bank.

On reviewing the positive results of the bund investments, board members stated: “Our commitment is to properly invest the funds, so our employees can trust that their individual retirement funds are protected and growing, while, at the same time, the board is attempting to protect taxpayers from additional county tax dollars being allocated to the fund.

“Even amid volatile markets over the past few years, the investment policies we’ve implemented, along with the professional management assistance provided by Marquette Associates, have left the county Retirement Fund in a very strong position for now and the future.”

Controller Tom Adamson is also a member of the retirement board but was unable to attend the meeting with Wing.

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