The Board of Trustees has the fiduciary duty of overseeing the Fund’s assets and investments. The purpose of the Fund is to accumulate the financial reserves necessary to provide for the retirement or pensioning of eligible members of the City of Austin Employees’ Retirement System (COAERS) and their beneficiaries. A primary objective of the investment management of the Fund is to emphasize consistency of growth in a manner intended to protect the Fund from excessive volatility in market value from year to year. The Board, staff, and external investment consultant all work together to ensure that every action taken serves the long-term interests of the members. As of December 31, 2016, the assets of the Fund totaled $2.3 billion.
The COAERS Board of Trustees, charged with the responsibility for investing the assets of the Fund in a manner consistent with fiduciary standards, has adopted the following investment philosophy to guide asset allocation and investment decisions.
- The Fund is a permanent one.
- The benefit obligations of the System must be met on a timely and regular basis.
- There is currently no expectation of need for significant liquidity from the Fund.
- The Fund shall be considered a total return fund, with appropriate recognition given to both current income and capital appreciation. Taxes shall not be a consideration. As such, market value will be the only relevant basis for measuring investment value.
- In the long run, ownership (equity investment) is a prudent investment vehicle for preservation of real values. The purpose of fixed income investments is to protect the principal, provide income and provide a measure of stability to the Fund.
- Diversification is integral to the fund’s design and as a result, investments that improve fund diversification will be considered.
- As a long-term fund with a commitment to funding the full benefits of the participants, cash flow considerations shall take precedence over the liability stream when considering overall asset allocation of fund assets.