The Cook County Pension Fund (CCPF) completed its actuarial valuations for the Cook County and Forest Preserve District funds for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2016. The results presented in the 2016 valuations were prepared by CCPF’s actuary Conduent HR Services, formerly Buck Consultants, LLC.
For 2016, the Cook County Fund’s financial position demonstrated year-over-year improvement due to the combination of performance, contributions, and cost management. The plan's investment portfolio realized an 8.06 percent gross return that enabled us to continue meeting benefit payments with no adverse impact on our portfolio. That growth, coupled with $270.5 million in supplemental contributions from Cook County resulting from the Home Rule Sales Tax further secured our footing in 2016. As the number of retiree members continued to rise, we explored opportunities that would enhance services to them while containing costs and adopted a Medicare prescription drug plan. In 2016, the Cook County Fund’s assets grew on an actuarial basis to $9.5 billion from $9.0 billion in 2015, with accrued liabilities of $16.7 billion, a result of the plan's unfunded actuarial liability that decreased by $2.9 million to $7.2 billion. Relative to the 2015 valuation, the funded ratio for the Cook County Fund increased to 56.7 percent form 55.4 percent.
Strong investment performance was also a positive contributor to the Forest Preserve District Fund’s financial position in 2016. Investments for the plan earned 6.01 percent on a gross return basis against payments to Forest Preserve Fund beneficiaries of $17.9 million. On an actuarial basis, the Forest Preserve Fund’s assets grew by $4.5 million to $198.2 million in 2016, with accrued liabilities of $330.2 million, resulting in an unfunded liability of $132 million. For 2016, the funded ratio of the Forest Preserve Fund remained flat at 60 percent.
Despite improvements in the year-over-year financial position of both plans, the actuary projects the Cook County plan’s assets will be depleted by 2038 and the assets of the Forest Preserve plan, by 2042.
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