Advocating for Active and Retired State Employees and Educators
Legislative bills to amend the investment authorizations to include "Alternative Investments" have been re-introduced in the 2009 Legislative Session. House Bill 249 and SB 129 are almost identical to legislation (SB 80) proposed in the 2007-2008 General Assembly Session. Senate Bill 80 was introduced and passed the Senate and House Retirement Committee, but failed to pass in the House of Representatives during the 2008 Session.
Briefly stated, HB 249, SB 129 and Senate Bill 80 (2007-2008 Session) provide for investing up to 5% of Employees Retirement System assets in alternative investments, which are higher-risk investments than other categories that are allowed for investment by law. GSRA members appealed to the General Assembly members during the 2008 Session not to pass the legislation on the basis that this type of investment included too much risk and was not appropriate for the retirement funds. Although HB 249 and SB 129 can be passed through the 2010 General Assembly Session, the House Retirement members demonstrated concern about the bill when it favorably reported a substitute to HB 249, which allowed the alternative investments only for the Firefighters Pension Fund. GSRA Members will, however, need to watch carefully the legislative process during the 2009 and 2010 Sessions.
The economic crisis that has infected the United States investment community has generated extensive discussion and opinion. The following links provide information to GSRA members regarding alternative investments and how these funds have performed in the economic downturn.