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    Document Summary
    - Report Published -

    Report Document No. 24
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    Document Title
    VRS Oversight Report No. 31 - VRS (Virginia Retirement System) Biennial Status and Semi-Annual Investment Report - December 2008

    Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission

    Enabling Authority

    Executive Summary
    This semi-annual investment report comes during a challenging and difficult market period, including declines in the housing and stock markets, sub-prime mortgage losses, tightening credit markets, and stress in both the economy and financial system. As a result of these extraordinary market conditions, the performance of the VRS pension fund (“the fund”) and its various asset classes have experienced steep declines in value. This semi-annual investment report provides information about the fund’s asset allocation and performance. In addition, the report provides an overview of each of the fund’s five asset classes (public equity, fixed income, private equity, credit strategies, and real estate). The report also addresses VRS’ exposure to hedge funds and credit default swaps, a topic that has recently received considerable media attention.

    At the close of FY 2008, the market value of the fund was $55.1 billion. As of September 30, 2008, the market value of the fund had declined to $49.3 billion. Absolute performance for the total fund for the fiscal year to date and one-year periods ending September 30, 2008, were -10.1 percent and -16.3 percent, respectively. However, the fund’s performance exceeded established benchmarks for the three-, five-, and ten-year periods ending September 30, 2008. Performance for the fiscal year to date and one-year periods ending September 30, 2008, lagged behind the benchmark. In addition, the fund did not achieve the assumed actuarial rate of return, 7.5 percent, in the fiscal year to date, or the, one-, three-, and ten-year periods, but exceeded the actuarial rate of return in the five-year period. As noted, the data in this investment report is as of September 30, 2008. Since that time, there has continued to be considerable volatility in the markets, and the value of the fund has been eroded by approximately 12 percent in October. Additional losses are expected for the month of November.