CalSTRS Receives Institutional Investor’s 2014 Public Pension Plan Award
CalSTRS’ investment performance earned accolades for best large fund

News release Ricardo Duran

WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) today announced it has received top honors for the portfolio’s 2013-14 performance from iiSEARCHES—Institutional Investor’s investment management, sales and marketing data service.

The recognition was publicized in the fall edition of its Global Money Management Trends & Insights for Investors Report. The report, written for asset owners, provides analysis of many of the important industry themes and issues currently facing institutional investors.

“This, along with the numerous industry awards we have received this year, serve as recognition of the valuable work our board undertook during its asset allocation study completed in September 2013 and our staff’s discipline in holding our course despite the many distractions that occurred along the way,” said CalSTRS Chief Investment Officer Christopher J. Ailman. “We based our success on our bias toward U.S. equities and our sustained and consistent investment approach.”

The approach served CalSTRS well, with a 13.8 percent return in 2012-13 and a 2013-14 return of 18.7 percent, performances far exceeding the fund’s actuarially assumed 7.5 percent rate of return.

“Making sound decisions, sticking to our plans and making the subtle course corrections needed to generate returns wherever we can, all went a long way to stabilizing our system and delivering the financial security California’s educators work hard toward and deserve,” Mr. Ailman said.

Under iiSEARCHES’ criteria, CalSTRS fit the large plan category, managing more than $10 billion. Mid-sized plans manage from $3 billion to $10 billion. Small plans manage less than $3 billion. Under iiSEARCHES’ categories, CalSTRS is joined by: 

  • Mid-sized plan of the year: The South Dakota Retirement System.
  • Small plan of the year: The Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System.

The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, with a portfolio valued at $188.3 billion as of August 31, 2014, is the largest educator-only pension fund in the world. CalSTRS administers a hybrid retirement system, consisting of traditional defined benefit, cash balance and voluntary defined contribution plans. CalSTRS also provides disability and survivor benefits. CalSTRS serves California’s 868,000 public school educators and their families from the state’s 1,600 school districts, county offices of education and community college districts.