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Current Investment Market Conditions

Membersí Guarantee of Pension Benefits

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We understand the concerns the current investment market conditions may cause our members.  In order to reassure members that the retirement benefits you have earned are not threatened by downturns in the investment markets, our legal counsel has prepared the accompanying statement explaining the guarantee of your benefits.  In this statement, Mr. Klausner explains the constitutional provisions of Louisiana law guaranteeing your benefits, along with an explanation of the actuarial funding provisions of law enacted to ensure that your benefit is always protected.

 

We are fortunate that our pension fund is a defined benefit plan offering a lifetime benefit based on a formula using years of service, age and final average salary to determine the amount of the benefit. Typically, vested members draw many times more in retirement benefits than contributions they have paid into the Fund.  While we rely on investment earnings for overall funding of the system, Louisiana law also provides other sources of income for the Fund.  In addition, shortfalls in funding created by fluctuations in investment markets are insured by the employer contributions to the Fund mandated by law.  Many people employed in business and industries do not enjoy the type of guaranteed benefit in retirement that our members enjoy, and must rely on savings and investment earnings in a defined contribution plan that does not provide assurance of a lifetime benefit.

 

In order to provide the great level of benefits your pension fund provides for members, and to maintain required employer contribution rates at levels that are affordable for our sheriffs, it is necessary that we use the investment markets and assume a level of market risk.  Our highly diversified investment portfolio is designed to help us attain our targeted funding levels and withstand market fluctuations over time.  It is important that we maintain a long-term investment outlook, understanding that we will enjoy favorable and unfavorable market conditions over time.

 

In times of unfavorable market conditions it is critical that we stay the course, as recommended by our highly professional consultants, in order to stay positioned to take advantage of recoveries and rebounds that will come from a return to more favorable market conditions.  Again, our pension fund is designed to withstand the fluctuations of the investment markets over the long-term, and take advantage of market opportunities during favorable markets.

 

Our goal is to work hard to provide protection and assurances for our active members so you can do the dedicated work you do without concerns over your retirement, and for retirees to enjoy the benefits you have earned in retirement.  Please be assured that our Board of Trustees and staff are very dedicated to that commitment.

 

For further information, please refer to the following statement from our legal counsel.  As always, please call us if we can be of assistance at any time.

 

Click here to view legal statement

 


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Last modified: May 08, 2009