SBCERA Cover Story

Nestled between summer fun and the hustle and bustle of the holidays, autumn is best described by English poet John Keats as a “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.”

Despite the visible signs of change brought forth by the season, from the falling sycamore leaves to earlier sunsets and orange-colored skies, autumn also presents an opportunity to appreciate life’s steadiness and stability.

At SBCERA, we are grateful for this time of steady harvest and reflect on the extraordinary team effort that has made the stability of our fund possible.

Outperforming our Peers
With an annualized net rate of return of 4.4%, SBCERA’s investment performance significantly bested our peer average of 2.8% in fiscal year 2015. As a result of limiting exposure to the Euro, the fund closed the year above 89% of all public pension funds with over $1 billion in assets, and above 99% of those funds when adjusted for risk.

Growth in Assets
Now valued at a record $8.2 billion in assets, SBCERA’s balance sheet has grown by over $350 million during the past year, and has nearly doubled since 2009. With a focus on income-generating assets that provide cash flows for additional investments, SBCERA’s investment team has positioned the fund for sustainable, long-term growth. Ever mindful of market volatility, the investment team has accomplished this sizeable increase in assets while simultaneously reducing the fund’s risk profile.

Improved Member Services
Over the past year, SBCERA has added almost 976 new members and beneficiaries, bringing our total to nearly 35,000 plan participants. To meet the demands of new members and provide information and resources more conveniently and efficiently, SBCERA has launched interactive, live webinars for mid-career professionals and those near retirement. Without impacting the frequency or quality of in-person presentations, the webinars have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from members.

Building for the Future
As we enjoy the fruits of harvest, we also plant the seeds for a more prosperous future. Through the implementation of SBCERA’s expansion plan, key strategic investments are being made to continually improve our high-quality member services. SBCERA now uses an upgraded pension administration software system, cutting-edge presentation technologies for mid-career and pre-retirement seminars, and is in the process of building a new internal data center. Our investments to better member services go beyond technology. With support from the Board of Trustees, we are remodeling our offices, including a larger private counseling room to accommodate families. This will reduce wait times and improve the quality of counseling.

We hope that you take comfort in the peace and steady harvest of the season. May autumn be a time of abundance for you and your family.