Maryland's $49 billion pension fund's performance lags peers

Originally published in the Baltimore Business Journal

MPPI in the News Holden Wilen, Reporter, Baltimore Business Journal Aug 17, 2017

The Maryland State Retirement and Pension System returned 10.02 percent on investments for its 2017 fiscal year and beat its own goals — but a policy research group says that's not good enough.

The fund's performance raised the assets of the system to $49.1 billion, up $3.6 billion over last year. It beat its own actuarial goal of 7.55 percent, and its benchmark of 9.9 percent. Despite that performance, the Rockville-based Maryland Public Policy Institute released a scathing criticism, claiming the Maryland system missed out on another potential $1 billion by failing to match the average returns of its peers.

R. Dean Kenderdine, executive director of the State Retirement Agency, called the Maryland Public Policy Institute's criticism "unsurprising" in an email to the BBJ. He acknowledged the retirement system's returns were not as high as it peers, but still called the outcomes "positive" and said the performance disparity "can be attributed to asset allocation and diversification."

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