Carbon County's retirement fund took a million dollar hit over the month of May.

During the monthly meeting of the county retirement board on Thursday, Robert Crampsie, county controller and secretary of the retirement board, reported that the retirement portfolio value as of May 31 was $65,647,514, down $1.1 million from April's report.

"It seems like we're back on the roller coaster," Crampsie said.

The Carbon County retirement fund has been on a roller coaster over the last few years, posting a significant loss after a very volatile stock market sent it crashing down by the end of 2008.

By the end of that year, the fund's balance was $47,684,152, which represented a negative 24-percent return for the year.

In the first two months of 2009, the fund dropped even further, but beginning in March 2009, the county posted its first positive month in the stock market.

Since then, the fund had performed well, recovering all of the money that was lost during the recession two years ago; and hitting its all-time high of $66.78 million on April 30.

In other retirement matters, Crampsie announced that the county will save around $600,000 in 2012 as a result of retirement fund performance and the sale of its nursing home.

Crampsie said that the county's estimated annual required contribution (ARC) for the retirement fund in 2012 will be $600,000.

The county was responsible for $1.22 million in 2011.

"This is definitely a positive highlight," Crampsie said, noting that the ARC is half of what the county budgeted.

He noted that the reason for the significant drop is due to the retirement fund's rate of return for the year, which was 12.41 percent; and the county's liability dropping by 1 percent.

The rate of return is projected annually at 7.5 percent. Crampsie said if the county hits that mark, which the county did, anything over that 7.5 percent projection helps decrease the ARC.

The county's liabilities dropping was mainly due to the sale of Weatherwood.

Typically, liabilities will rise by 6 or 7 percent.

"I can tell you for as long as I've been here, this has never happened, and I would say it probably never happened in the history of the system," Crampsie said, adding that 63 former Weatherwood employees left the county retirement fund as a result of the sale of the nursing home.

Each employee that had a retirement contribution with the county increased the liability. When an employee does not vest their contributions and leaves the fund, the liability is reduced.