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Carbon retirement board affected by stock market performance

Published December 16. 2011 05:00PM

The Carbon County retirement portfolio is feeling the effects of a very rocky stock market.

During the monthly meeting of the retirement board on Thursday, Robert Crampsie, county controller and secretary to the retirement board, announced that the county's retirement fund, as of Nov. 30, was $60,399,269, down $500,000 from Oct. 31.

"For the year, it's been basically flat," Crampsie said, noting that the fund's beginning balance in January was $60,300,000. "That equates to a .11 percent rate of return for the year."

He noted that unless market performance is stellar in December, the county should not expect to meet the actuarial assumption of a 7.5 percent rate of return for the year.

"For that assumption to come true, we should be up 4.5 million but we're no where near that," Crampsie said.

Crampsie also asked the board to set the interest rate on member accounts for 2012. The county is required to set an interest rate between 4 and 5.5 percent on member contributions before the start of the next fiscal year.

The board chose to set the interest rate at 4 percent.

The board also voted to reimburse the general fund for administrative expenses throughout 2011. To date, $207,482 has been spent on investment advisors, actuarial services, other consultants, and administrative fees.

In other matters, three guests from two firms that help manage and monitor the county's retirement funds provided reports.

Jonathan Davidson and Darren Check of Kessler, Topaz, Meltzer & Check LLP of Radnor, provided an update on services it provides the retirement board regarding litigation and claims.

Since the company was hired by the county in 2003, it has helped recover over $100,000 through litigation.

Mark Gensheimer, president of the county's investment manager, C.S. McKee L.P. of Pittsburgh, also gave a report on the portfolio performance for the quarter. He said that low confidence in the market has contributed to a lot of volatility.

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