NEW YORK - The New York City Employees Retirement System should consider investments in new media, technology/biomedical, real estate, health care/managed care and financial and business services, according to its consultant.
Pacific Corporate Group, alternative investment consultant to the $45 billion fund, said the investments would help the fund expand its targeted investment program.
NYCERS' targeted investment program has been limited so far to financing residential construction in New York City. The report advised the trustees to "maintain targeted investment focus as key driver of (the) program expansion," and "maintain flexibility and creativity - avoid prematurely limiting options."
Trustees hired Pacific Corporate last year to develop a plan to increase the system's investment in alternatives.
CalPERS softens stance
on hiring policy
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California Public Employees' Retirement System approved an exception to its existing policy on minority and women contracting requirements for the $110 billion fund's RFP for U.S. equity money managers.
The exception requires managers to meet the minority/women/disabled veteran requirements only if hired. Previously, managers had to meet the requirements to be finalists in the selection process. The RFP involves more than $6 billion in domestic equity assets.
Chicago Teachers putting
more into real estate
CHICAGO - The Public School Teachers Pension & Retirement Fund of Chicago approved investing an additional $10 million with Schroder Real Estate Associates.
The money will be placed with Schroder's CII Fund, which is a real estate fund. The pension fund has about $20 million in Schroders C Fund. Assets will come from large-cap equity and core index fund investments, where the $7.28 billion fund is overweighted; no managers will be terminated. Mercer Investment Consulting assisted.
Separately, the board changed its investment policy and will allow active fixed-income managers to invest in Rule 144(a) securities. The securities would be subject to the same guidelines as corporate securities.
Republicans submit piece
of pension package
WASHINGTON - The Senate Republican Retirement Task Force unveiled its first piece of pension package legislation.
The first bill would let homemakers set aside $2,000 a year in tax-deductible IRAs; let those returning to work from maternity or paternity leave make catch-up payments to their retirement plans; and let those who quit to rear children make up to 18 years of payments to their retirement plans after they return to work.
The bill is sponsored by 16 Republican senators, including Majority Leader Trent Lott from Mississippi, Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jim Jeffords of Vermont and Judd Gregg of New Hampshire.
PBGC takes action
on 2 companies' plans
WASHINGTON - The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. is taking over the Memorex-Telex Corp. pension plan.
Memorex-Telex, Irving, Texas, was sold to various companies as part of its bankruptcy liquidation. None of the purchasers plans to continue the pension plan, which has assets of $55.9 million and liabilities of $82.4 million, and covers nearly 4,000 workers and pensioners.
The company froze the pension plan in 1994 and terminated it Dec. 31. The company closed March 31.
The PBGC also hammered out an agreement to shore up three Del Monte Corp. pension funds.
Del Monte, San Francisco, will contribute $55 million in cash over five years.
The company has $260 million in assets and $350 million in liabilities in the three plans, which cover more than 6,700 workers and retirees in eight states. Most of the company is being purchased by Texas Pacific Group, Fort Worth, Texas, and other investors through a leveraged buy-out.
Income tax replacement
studied in Cato report
WASHINGTON - Replacing the nation's income tax system with a 15% national sales tax would benefit the economy and raise the standard of living, according to a new Cato Institute study by David R. Burton and Dan R. Mastromarco.
Messrs. Burton and Mastromarco say their national sales tax proposal would exempt low-income Americans and replace the individual, corporate income tax, as well as capital gains tax, estate and gift tax, and non-trust fund excise taxes, while raising the same amount of revenue.
"More than 100 million Americans who are not business owners or self-employed would no longer have to file tax returns," they say in their study.
Oklahoma fund completes
OKLAHOMA CITY - The $3.4 billion Oklahoma Public Employees' Retirement System will terminate a $170 million fixed-income portfolio managed by Nicholas-Applegate Capital Management and shift the assets to Firstar Investment Research & Management.
Steve Edmonds, executive director, said the action is part of a reallocation to eliminate intermediate-term fixed income and increase core bonds.
The shift will increase the fund's core fixed-income assets to about $600 million, all managed by Firstar.