The $745 million Minneapolis Teachers Retirement Association would be merged into the $7.3 billion Minnesota Teachers Retirement Association, St. Paul, effective July 1, if a bill introduced in the Minnesota House is approved. The bill is based on the unanimous recommendations of the state Legislature's bipartisan House-Senate Commission on Pensions & Retirement. A Senate version has not been introduced.
Currently, the statewide plan covers all Minnesota public school teachers except those in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth. Assets of the statewide plan are managed by the $40 billion Minnesota State Board of Investment, St. Paul.
John Wicklund, a spokesman for the Minnesota Teachers Retirement Association, said the Legislature has considered the chronic underfunding problems of the Minneapolis Teachers plan for the past several years without taking action. According to Patricia Anderson, Minnesota state auditor, an audit showed that the Minneapolis plan was about 45% funded in mid-2005.
As of June 30, the following firms managed money for the Minneapolis Teachers fund, according to its annual report: AllianceBernstein, GE Investments, Wasatch Advisors, Sterling Capital and Clifton Group for U.S. equities; Templeton and Mellon Capital for international equities; and Mellon Bond and BlackRock for domestic bonds. The fund also had $6.5 million in venture capital and $12.4 million in cash; those managers were not listed in the report.
Karen Kilberg, executive director of the Minneapolis Teachers Retirement Association, was away from her office and could not be reached for comment.