Fort Lauderdale OKs $340 million in pension obligation bonds

The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., city commission on Wednesday approved issuing about $340 million in pension obligation bonds to improve the funding of the city's two defined benefit pension plans, confirmed city spokesman Chaz Adams.

David Desmond, plan administrator of the Fort Lauderdale General Employees' Retirement System, said in a telephone interview that the pension fund's investment consultant, Dahab Associates, will attend the retirement system's Oct. 4 board meeting to discuss how to invest the additional funds the pension fund will receive, expected to be at least $130 million.

Mr. Desmond said the pension fund expects to receive the money on Oct. 3 or Oct. 4 and will initially be parked in “an ETF or something like that” until the board approves Dahab's recommendations.

Fred Nesbitt, director of public information at the Fort Lauderdale Police & Fire Retirement System, said the board of trustees and investment consultant CapTrust Advisors will discuss the new funds at a Sept. 21 meeting. Mr. Nesbitt said there's “nothing absolute” about what the investment plans will be.

The police and fire pension fund expects to receive at least $170 million.

The general employees' pension fund had $305 million in assets and $486 million in obligations as of Sept. 30, 2011, the most recent data available, according to Mr. Desmond.

The police and fire pension fund had $453 million in assets and $672 million in obligations as of Dec. 31, according to the retirement system's most recent actuarial report.