Wild market ride cost Iowa public employee system


August 17th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s public employee pension system lost 4.3 percent in value during the stock market’s recent wild ride. The system assets dropped to an estimated $22.1 billion on Aug. 5 from $23.16 billion on June 30. By comparison, California’s main employee pension fund dropped about 7.5 percent of its value from July 1 through early August. In Kentucky, the loss was 15 percent. The Florida fund lost 7 percent.

Iowa system spokeswoman Judy Akre says the system’s relatively modest losses are a result of its conservative investment strategy, “based on a decades-long horizon, not a five-week window.” The Iowa Public Employees Retirement System has about 324,000 members.