Alameda County Employees Retirement Association, Oakland, Calif., postponed its search for a manager to run a $75 million mortgage portfolio until next year to see if current manager AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust lowers its fees over the next 12 months. An AFL-CIO representative said the fund expects fees to drop to 30 basis points over the next five years, averaging 33 basis points or lower from 2002 through 2006, according to minutes of the $3.6 billion plans Nov. 14 investment committee meeting. However, an AFL-CIO memo declined to put the fee reduction in writing, instead reiterating a commitment to reduce fees, the minutes added. The association currently pays 38 basis points, said a fund spokeswoman who asked not to be identified. The committee decided to wait while staff analyzes the cost of conducting a search.