Saturday, October 6, 2012

“SBCERS History of Economic Assumptions” VS. Actual Pension Fund Performance; covering 20 years 1988 through 2007.

Hey friends I am so excited because CNN i report accepted and published my first submission ( this posting)  to them on their website today!

As many of you already know I have been researching the history of Santa Barbara County’s reported SBCERS Pension Earnings and Values for well over two years now. And as I often do I unintentionally complicate my postings by supplying far too much data for everyone to consume. So after five months and with the help of a friend I think I am ready to wow you all with my representation of my pension findings and will do so by using just two documents and some simple math.

The first document I have for you today is titled “SBCERS History of Economic Assumptions” and covers 1981 through 2009. For my presentation I will be starting in 1988 and ending in 2007 so just 20 years of coverage. Really this document is a basic guideline of performance required to full fill all the pensions’ future obligations. So in an effort to keep things simple I averaged out each category over 20 years and here are the results.

                 SBCERS History of Economic Assumptions
A. The 20 Year Earnings Rate Assumptions Average for the pension was    8.15%
B. The 20 Year CPI Inflation Assumptions Average for the pension was      4.75%
C. The 20 Year Expected Real Rate of Return Average for the pension was 3.40%
Or A - B = C

Call me simple but I am assuming that if the pension met all 3 these assumptions created by our County leader’s then one could also expect that there would be no future pension value shortfalls. Unfortunately for us the Santa Barbara County Pension is currently reported to have a One Billion dollar deficit.

Now the second document I have for your review today has already averaged out the pensions 20 years performance for us. We might call document 1 the before and document 2 the after.

       History of Actual SBCERS Pension Fund Performance
A. The Actual 20 Year Earnings Rate Average for the Pension was             10.10%
B. The Actual 20 Year CPI Inflation Average for the Pension was                3.10%
C. The Actual 20 Year Real Rate of Return Averaged for the Pension was  7.00%
Or A – B = C

People I ask is it just me or did the pension actually exceed in spectacular fashion what our County leader’s had hoped for. Under A the actual 20 Year Earnings exceeded the assumption by almost 20% and under B the actual 20 Year CPI Inflation Average was almost 35% lower than the assumption. It gets better folks because of these two outstanding results our real net return was actually more than double the assumption of 3.40% and came in at a full 7.00%.

Dear Santa Barbara County Residents and County Employees how is it that our SBCERS pension netted more than twice the desired real net return. Had additional funds contributed over the same 20 years because of an alleged UN-funded balance, and is still reported to have a 1 Billion dollar deficit? Now can you all understand why I have been saying for two years now it is mathematically impossible for the SBCERS pension to be anything but fully funded and with a rather large surplus. 

Document 1 “SBCERS History of Economic Assumptions” 1981 through 2009

Document two

S.B.C.C.C. The place where COMMON SENSE never goes out of style!
This story is also posted on CNN i Reports webpage @

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