Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
City's Pension Fund Returns Compare Poorly with Those of Peers
The San Diego City Employees' Retirement System may get away with telling the Union-Tribune that it is doing relatively well, but the boasts are belied by the system's own numbers. SDCERS' report for the year ended December 31, 2008, shows a decidedly downbeat performance, with a few exceptions. For example, over the last year, the total fund (stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.) lost 26.38 percent. That puts it in the lower 38 percent of its peers. The benchmark was down a much lower 23.6 percent -- an outperformance of almost 3 percentage points. Over the last three years, SDCERS' total portfolio is down 3.07 percent, putting it in the lower 31 percent. Over five years, the fund is up 2.47 percent, putting it in the lower 58 percent. It is still doing exceedingly well over ten years, up 5.03 percent, in the top 4 percent. In last year's fourth quarter, the portfolio dropped 13 percent, beating the benchmark by half a percentage point.