Illinois TRS Reports 23% Increase in Assets Since 2009

May 20, 2011 ( - The Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System Board of Trustees reported total assets of $37.3 billion at the end of March 2011, a 23% increase over the assets held by TRS in 2009.

During the first nine months of fiscal year 2011, the investment rate of return for TRS was 21.38%, besting the current target investment rate of 8.5%, according to a news release.  

“While the short-term results are impressive, it is more significant that our long-term investment strategy is working well. This is good news for our 372,000 members,” said TRS Executive Director Dick Ingram, in the announcement. Ingram noted that over the last 30 years the TRS investment rate of return is 8.8 percent, which also exceeds the target rate.  

At the end of fiscal year 2009, TRS investments totaled $28.5 billion, the lowest level in eight years. The worldwide financial crisis during 2008 and 2009 caused TRS to lose 32% of its assets over those two years, ending six straight years of asset growth. By the end of FY 2010, TRS assets climbed to $31.3 billion, the result of a 13.5% rate of return during the year.  

The System also announced that the Board confirmed the selection of Hartford Investment Management Company of Hartford to manage a growing area within the TRS Fixed Income portfolio – U.S. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS). Hartford was allocated $265 million in TRS assets to invest, or 5% of the System’s total $5.2 billion Fixed Income portfolio.   

The announcement said the TRS Board decided in December 2010 to increase its allocation to TIPS as a safeguard against possible inflation in the future. The new 5% allocation to TIPS will be funded by the slight rebalancing of other allocations within the Fixed Income portfolio.