November 21, 2012 7:32PM
Updated: December 23, 2012 6:17AM
Don’t spread half-truths
In his Nov. 1 column, Scott Reeder ignored available facts and incorrectly said the Illinois’ Teachers’ Retirement System made “bad investment decisions” last year. The reality is that the teachers’ pension fund is in good hands.
In the last decade, total TRS assets grew 62 percent to $37.5 billion. Over the last 30 years, the TRS investment return has averaged 9.6 percent, higher than our target rate of 8.5 percent. Long-term investment results matter more than short-term ones because the state has promised pensions to all teachers, including those who will not retire for another 30 years.
The column focused only on the system’s 0.76 percent investment return for fiscal 2012. What Mr. Reeder didn’t say is that the lower-than-expected earnings stemmed from a world economy that continues to be unpredictable. There were no significant changes in TRS’ investment strategy over the last two years.
Yet, while the 2012 return was 0.76 percent, the 2011 return came in at 23.6 percent. Also, the 0.76 percent rate is a 12-month “snapshot” taken at the end of June. The TRS return for the 12-month period ending Sept. 30 was 16.4 percent.
The column also falsely implies that TRS is asking state government for more money this year because of its recent investment performance. In fact, the state’s annual contribution is required by law regardless of how much TRS earns. In 2011, when TRS investments earned 23.6 percent, the state was still required to contribute $2.1 billion. The pension reform debate in Illinois is not advanced by the spread of half-truths.
Teachers’ Retirement System
Justice was served
We would like to say thank you to the New Lenox police for their help and support on April 22, and the days following, our home was broken into and personal property taken along with our truck.
We came home that evening to find things missing and truck stolen, we immediately called 911 and the dispatcher was very calm and asked if we has On-Star in our vehicle ... I did not even think about that so I called On-Star and reported the truck stolen. At that time the police showed up.
We were an emotional mess but the police spent hours with us processing our home and answering our questions. Within an hour (with the help of On-Star and Chicago police) they located our truck and items that were taken along with the suspect, still in the truck and with a heroin needle still in his arm.
We went to every court date to see that justice was done. On Nov. 8, he was sentenced to four years for burglary and for years for auto theft in Statesville.
Justice was served and it all started with the New Lenox police officers, so for that we want to put a special public thank you out to the following officers: Officer Jeffrey Furlong, Detective Paul Griffin, Detective Douglas Furlong, Sgt. Louis Alessandrini, Sgt. Matthew Simon and Officer Paul Simon.
We just think its important for the public to know the outcome and for the young men and women who have drug problems to see what can happen to them
Glenn and Kathie Miller