SPRINGFIELD, IL – Teachers’ Retirement System investments generated a positive 4.6 percent rate of return, gross of fees, during fiscal year 2015 – a return that matched the System’s custom investment benchmark for FY 2015.
TRS ended FY 2015 on June 30 with $46 billion in assets, which places the System among the top 23 largest public pension funds in the United States. Net of fees, the TRS return for FY 2015 was 4.0 percent.
The 30-year investment return for TRS is 9.1 percent, net of fees, which exceeds the System’s long-term investment goal of 7.5 percent.
“In every measurement, TRS investments ranked in the top 25 percent of all large government retirement systems regarding their rates of return in the last fiscal year. We met or exceeded all of our benchmarks,” said TRS Executive Director Dick Ingram. “This is very good news for our members. We generated an estimated $1.7 billion in investment income last year. In addition, they can be confident that the administration of their retirement money at TRS is effective, efficient and secure.”
The System’s three-year return at the end of FY 2015 came in at 11.9 percent, compared to the custom benchmark of 11 percent. The TRS five-year average of 12 percent at the end of the last fiscal year exceeded the benchmark of 11.2 percent. The 10-year average for FY 2015 of 7.2 percent topped the custom benchmark of 6.8 percent. All statistics are gross of fees.
Ingram stressed that the net-of-fees 30-year rate-of-return of 9.1 percent is the most important number in the FY 2015 investment data. The 30-year timeframe not only reflects the long-term relationship that TRS has with its members but indicates a successful investment program that values steady growth over several decades.
“We watch the daily ups-and-downs of the investment markets like everyone else, but the continuous volatility of the markets makes it difficult for our members to know if their money is working for them,” Ingram added. “The true test of our investment program is measured in decades. Many of our members spend 30 years as teachers and administrators and then another 20 to 25 years in retirement, so our goal is to provide steady, positive growth during that entire relationship.”
In the last 10 years, TRS investments have recorded positive returns in eight years, with the two years of negative returns realized during the worldwide financial crisis of 2008 and 2009. All returns in this chart are gross of fees.
Fiscal Year TRS Return
2015 + 4.6%
2009 - 22.3%
2008 - 4.5%
About Teachers’ Retirement System
The Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois is the 23rd largest public pension system in the United States, and provides retirement, disability and survivor benefits to teachers, administrators and other public school personnel employed outside of Chicago. The System serves 395,000 members and had assets of $46 billion as of June 30, 2015.