Study Claims Public Fund's Investments Boosted Home State's Economy

January 28, 2009 ( - A study of the Retirement Systems of Alabama says its investments in Alabama companies helped provide more than 5,800 jobs and $245 million in payroll in the state in 2007.

According to the Associated Press, the study said the 5,836 people employed by Alabama companies where the Retirement Systems made investments had an average payroll of $42,046 – more than 14% above the state average of $36,751 in 2007. David Bronner, CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, said the numbers were higher than he anticipated.

In addition, the study found that Alabama’s tourism industry has grown significantly since the Retirement Systems invested in golf and convention hotels. RSA’s home state investments included the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, managed by Sunbelt Golf Corp.; hotels operated by PCH Hotels and Resorts; and newspapers and TV stations operated by Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. and Raycom Media, the AP said.

In return for the media investments, the pension fund gets $56 million annually in free TV, newspaper, and billboard advertising, which it uses to promote Alabama tourism, according to the study.