SDRS investments are nearly level again

Capitol News Bureau
KELO South Dakota Retirement System

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The panel that governs South Dakota’s major public-pension program continued discussions Thursday about ways to keep it fully funded.

State Investment Officer Matt Clark told the South Dakota Retirement System trustees that the fund’s market value was down an estimated 2.28 percent as of April 30.

“That probably is a little conservative,” Clark said during the teleconference.

The system ended the 2019 fiscal year June 30 with a fair market value of about $12.4 billion. That was before COVID-19 sent markets spinning in recent months.

Stock prices rebounded “quite a bit” in April, and Clark’s staff moved money out and back into cash. He said total value could be down as little as 1.5 percent. “We’re not in too bad a shape right now.”

Clark said that on the worst day in March the estimated return was minus 18 percent and at the worst point that day minus 19.4 percent. “It was down a lot,” he said.

The state investment office had held a minimum of 50 percent in stocks, because they were over-valued, prior to the markets plunging because of COVID-19.

As prices fell, Clark’s office began buying, hitting a peak of 76 percent in stock-like investments. As prices rose again, the fund shifted more and more back to cash. The level currently is 56.5 percent in stocks.

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