Franklin County pension fund makes $7.1 million in 2010

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

Franklin County taxpayers and employees received good news

about the county pension fund recently at a  meeting of the Franklin County

Retirement Board. The fund returned 6.9 percent for the fourth quarter of

2010, placing it in the top 29 percent of the Wilshire Cooperative Public

Funds Universe, a widely followed index of similar public retirement plans.

The fund also made over $7 Million in 2010, posting a return of 11 percent,

which was 3.5 percent above the actuarial assumed rate of return, according

to the board's investment consultant, Lee Martin of Peirce Park Group.

³Anytime the pension fund grows at a rate greater than the actuarial

assumptions, you are doing well.  The result is a smaller contribution

requirement from the county's general fund, which benefits the taxpayers.

The security of the fund needed to pay employees' future pensions is also

enhanced,² said Martin.

³Our decision to hire Peirce Park Group and the time we have put into

working with them to actively manage the pension fund are reaping benefits

to our employees and the taxpayers,² said Commissioner David Keller,

chairman of the Franklin County Retirement Board.  In 2008 the Retirement

Board hired Peirce Park as its first investment advisor. The board developed

a long-range investment strategy and diversified the pension fund over

several managers.  Subsequent decisions by the board, as well as a rebound

in the stock market, have seen the fund grow from $53 to $78 Million over

the past twp years.

The Franklin County Retirement Board consists of Commissioners David Keller,

Bob Thomas and Bob Ziobrowski, Controller Carol Diller and Treasurer David