LACERS Returns 11.5% For Calendar Year


Michael Wilkinson, LACERS/Legal Representative

By Michael R. Wilkinson, LACERS Commissioner


ACERS’ investment consultant, NEPC, recently reported to the Board on the quarterly performance of the plan. While these articles report the return’s “net of investment fee,” this report will use “gross of investment fee” numbers. The gross return for the calendar year ending Dec. 31, 2023, is 11.5 percent versus the net figure of 11.32 percent.

The reason for the change in fee disclosure for this report is to compare LACERS’ performance with other large plans, ranging from $5 to $50 billion. The percentile listings illustrate LACERS’ standing, with one being best and 99 the worst.

Executive Summary: LACERS outperformed similarly large funds for each period (three months, one year, three years, 10 years, and 15 years) except for five years where it was at the 51st percentile. Also, LACERS outperformed its policy index (benchmark) for the 3-month, 1-year, 10-year and 15-year periods.

Here is the performance and percentile ranking against peers in parentheses: 

  • three months – 7 percent (37)
  • one year – 11.5 percent (38) 
  • three years – 4.7 percent (48) 
  • five years – 8.7 percent (51) 
  • 10 years – 7 percent (41)
  • 15 years – 8.9 percent (25) 

Note that each period except three years met or exceeded our seven percent assumed rate of return.

What does all this mean? The strength of your pension does not depend on a few good years of financial returns, nor is it defeated by a few bad years. Over time LACERS has experienced and survived in both the up and down financial markets.

With that in mind, it is always encouraging to see a one-year return of more than 11 percent when our assumed long range actuarial assumed rate of return is seven percent. However, we should not expect this to be the new norm.