Index Fund Advisors expended a large amount of time and effort in putting together the data that reveals the failure of active management for state pension systems. As of now, there is no central repository of information on state pension performance, so each state’s historical returns had to be individually obtained. Although they are considered public information, they are not always readily available. New York, for example, only publishes the last five years, and several other states only publish the last ten years of portfolio returns. In some cases, we contacted officials from the plans who graciously provided the information.
When you go to our page titled State Retirement Systems, you will see an interactive map of the United States that allows you to see the data and the source for that state. Below that, you will see charts that summarize the returns data for states with a fiscal year end on June 30th. The first one is based on a time period of 13 years and shows the risk and return for 33 states. The second one is based on a time period of 26 years which allows us to show the data for only 19 states. In neither of the two charts did any state plot above the line formed by the IFA Index Portfolios (based on an advisory fee of 0.05%). Below those two charts is a table showing the year-by-year returns for all of the states with a fiscal year end on June 30th. Next, we have a similar set of two charts and a table for states with a fiscal year end on December 31st. Again, no state plotted above the line formed by the IFA Index Portfolios.
For more detail, see the State Retirement System data page.
To review several articles on this topic, please see:
Pension-Gate: A Review of the Florida Retirement System
Pension-Gate: Some Good News from CalPERS
Pension-Gate: The Repercussions of CalPERS' Hedge Fund Decision
Pension-Gate Continues: Some Good Advice for the Hawkeye State
Pension-Gate - Good News from Pennsylvania
Pension-Gate Continues: North Carolina is on Notice
Pension-Gate: CalPERS Performance for the Fiscal Year Ending 6/30/2013
Pension-Gate Continues - Maryland has been Called Out
Pension-Gate: More Smart Advice from Maryland
Active vs. Passive — A Look at Pensions in the U.K.
A Summary of the 2005 SEC Study of Pension Consultants
Do Investment Consultants Add Value?
The Fired Beat the Hired
Track Record Investing
Videos relating to Pension-Gate
For anyone who is interested in researching the returns received by various state pension funds, we believe that we have provided a destination Web page. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or feedback you may have. You may e-mail us at [email protected].
About the Authors
Mark Hebner and additional IFA employees contributed to this article
Founder and President of Index Fund Advisors, Inc., and author of Index Funds: The 12-Step Recovery Program for Active Investors. He is a Wealth Advisor, with an MBA from the University of California at Irvine and a BS in Pharmacy from the University of New Mexico with a specialization in Nuclear Pharmacy.