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Pension Funds

CalSTRS awards bonuses to CIO, CEO equal to 53% of base salaries

The two top officials of the California State Teachers' Retirement System, Chief Investment Officer Christopher Ailman and CEO Jack Ehnes, both received a bonus equating to 53.5% of their base salary for the fiscal year ended June 30, amounting to a $272,672 bonus for Mr. Ailman and a $224,682 bonus for Mr. Ehnes.

The bonuses, approved by the board of the $215.3 billion West Sacramento-based pension fund on Nov. 2,are on top of base salaries of $509,900 for Mr. Ailman and $420,200 for Mr. Ehnes.

Mr. Ailman would have been eligible for up to a 100% bonus investment performance had been better, show CalSTRS documents. Mr. Ehnes, on the other hand, was only eligible for a 80% maximum bonus, the papers show.

CalSTRS investment portfolio had double-digit returns of 13.2% for the 12-month period ended June 30, but were lackluster in the prior two years.

The system only showed a 1.4% net return for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2016, and a 4.8% return for the year that ended on June 30, 2015. The bonus awards were based in part on a three-year investment average return, which CalSTRS calculated at 6.3%, under its assumed rate of return of 7.5%.

On Nov. 3, the board's compensation committee also released data showing that almost $5 million in bonuses will be paid to more than 60 other retirement plan employees for the fiscal year ended June 30 including investment officers, portfolio managers and senior staff.