Report Shows State Pensions Fared Well

A new report shows Texas public employee pensions did better than expected last year. That's good news for government agencies looking for ways to fund them over the next few decades.

The report by the Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems, or TexPers, shows many public employee pension investments exceeded expectations last year.

Two key long-term measures for the success of system investments, the 10 and 20 year average rates of return, both beat the average assumption rate handily. Only the 5 and 15 year returns were below what was expected, mostly because of the bear markets in 2008 and 2002.

The Houston Municipal Employees Pension System was highlighted in the TexPers report as one that has had an above average return over the past 20 years, at almost 8.8 percent.

The City of Houston is still looking for ways to lighten the burden of funding municipal pensions, including police and fire pensions, which could make up about 17 percent of the city budget by 2017.