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A comprehensive investment policy developed by staff and approved by the SERS Retirement Board provides direction for long-term investment activity. The Investment Department oversees the investment of fund assets that are externally managed by a diverse group of top-tier investment managers to achieve the highest possible return at an acceptable level of risk.

For fiscal year-ending June 30, 2017, SERS’ investment rate of gross return was 13.93% with $13.58 billion in assets. The Fund’s net return was 13.20% which exceeded the policy benchmark by 1.66%. SERS maintains a diversified investment portfolio; the System’s target asset allocation is 22.5% in domestic stocks, 22.5% in international stocks, 19% in global bonds, 15% in global real assets, 10% in global private equity, 10% in multi-asset strategies and 1% in short-term securities. 

SERS’ Investment Authority

Key events in the evolution of SERS’ investment authority include: 

1937-1956 Investments are restricted to government bonds, savings accounts, and real estate.

1957 SERS receives expanded authority to invest in corporate bonds and preferred and common stock.

1976  Investments in Canadian debt obligations are authorized.

1981 Exclusive benefit, prudent management, and consideration to Ohio investments is added; Ohio private equity investments are permitted.

1983  Investment in Ohio venture capital is permitted.

1993 Investment in foreign issues is authorized; domestic equity limit is increased from 35% to 50%, and eligible domestic equity to any stock on New York or American exchange is expanded.

1997 Legal Lists are abolished; prudent person is instituted; and percentage limitations are eliminated.

2004 Discretionary preference for Ohio-qualified agents and investment managers is added.

Thank You, but No Gifts, Please

Employees and Board members of SERS are governed by provisions of the Ohio Ethics Law. Those provisions limit anyone from offering, and us from accepting, gifts, including food, beverages and travel-related expenses. To abide with the ethics laws, we request that you not send gifts to, or make donations to charity on behalf of, SERS and any SERS Board or staff members. Click here to learn more from the Ohio Ethics Commission regarding the ethics laws governing the Ohio Retirement Systems. 

Thank you for your attention and cooperation in this matter.