Township to alter pension plan financial strategy
By Lisa Brody
Bloomfield Township trustees unanimously approved amending the township's defined benefit pension plan investment policy at its meeting on Monday, February 8, to include real estate investments in its portfolio.
Treasurer Brian Kepes said the defined benefit pension plan investment policy currently has a 58 percent return for the township's fiscal year, through the end of the year March 30. The goal, he said, is to decouple some investments from the stock market in case there are any bubbles in the future.
Kepes explained to the board the township's financial sustainability committee, an advisory board, recommended this change, as did Brian Green from AndCo., their investment advisor.
“Overall, we're very proud of the greater than 10 percent return on the equities since 2016,” Kepes said. “We're looking to add some different kind of instruments to our tool box.”
“It's a good idea to add some institutional real estate to your portfolio,” Green said. “This is just increasing the overall flexibility. While this is a new investment for the township, your peer across the county, the state and the country have been using real estate for investment for a long time. Real estate is a very, very consistent asset.”
It was explained that funds would be in growth markets around the country, run by professional managers with decades of experience in real estate that are attracting inbound residents and businesses.
“We're looking at five percent as the target” to invest in real estate, Kepes explained.