(January 28, 2014) The City of Hartford Treasurer’s Office announced today that the year-end value of the City of Hartford Municipal Employees Retirement Fund (MERF) exceeded $1 billion dollars in assets while serving over 5,000 participants.
“This is the first time that the MERF’s assets have exceeded a billion dollars since the global financial crisis began in 2008,” said Treasurer Adam M. Cloud. “The crisis led to a major decline in pension values all over the world, and triggered unprecedented tightening of consumer and corporate credit and also damaged the mortgage markets. During this period in 2008, MERF assets fell to a level of $840 million dollars.”
Upon taking office, City Treasurer Cloud oversaw a restructuring of the MERF’s assets designed to improve investment returns, enhance diversification and reduce investment return volatility. While achieving these goals, the MERF has also revised and updated its investment policies. In recognizing this milestone, Pension Commission Chairman Peter Stevens acknowledged the hard work that has taken place to get the MERF to where it currently is and “fully appreciates the collective efforts taken by the Treasurer, the Office of the Mayor and the City Council in their continued support in making sure that the City is able to meet its payment obligations to those that have committed their careers for the betterment of our residents and businesses.”
Mayor Pedro E. Segarra offered the following statement, “I’m pleased that the market is performing better than it was in 2008. I appreciate the work done by the Treasurer, his team, and the Pension Commission and look forward to collaborating to maintain the soundness of the MERF for the benefit of City employees and retirees.”
Since inception, the MERF has outperformed its 8% assumed rate of return and the MERF’s funded ratio currently stands at 79%. During 2013, the MERF earned 9% on its assets.
The City Treasurer, in his role as Secretary of Hartford’s Pension Commission, and pursuant to the Charter of the City of Hartford, is custodian for and manages all the assets of the MERF.
For Immediate Release: January 28, 2014
Contact: Carmen Sierra, Assistant City Treasurer
p. (860) 757-9107