Florida Tries to Give Hope to Retirees and Investors

Around this time last year The State Board of Administration’s assets totaled 187 billion dollars. Today, they’re down about 30 percent, a value loss of 62 billion. Dennis MacKee, the SBA spokesman, tried to provide some comfort, saying, “we’ve preformed comparable to some of the other pension funds throughout the United State’s, and much better than some of the indices that are commonly reported on.”

The SBA manages 34 public investment funds and is responsible for paying retirement for state employees.

The state pension fund took the biggest blow. In the last year the fund lost 38 billion dollars. The news concerns retired state employees like Joyce Raichelson who depends on the pension fund for part of her income. She said, “you want to be comfortable; you don’t want to have to worry. There should be a time in your life when you eventually don’t have to worry.”

The always optimistic Governor Charlie Crist says the funds will rebound, saying “we’re looking for the economy to turn around and inevitably it will and I think the comfort people can take is the fact that sooner or later that’s going to happen, but those kind of funds all around the country are where they are, and Florida’s a lot better off than most.”

The state pension fund is still worth more than a hundred billion dollars. If it ever went belly up taxpayers would be on the hook to pay state benefits.

An S-B-A spokesman says the board’s investments are conservative and diverse enough to weather the Wall Street storm.

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