In brief

Taxpayers benefiting from investment performance

LANSING — More than 530,000 state and teacher pension participants are benefiting from state investments after recent reports noted one-year and 10-year gains larger than similarly sized state pension funds, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury.

From Sept. 30, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018, the state Treasury Department’s Bureau of Investments reported that the State of Michigan Retirement Systems (SMRS) earned a one-year rate of return of 11.6 percent, exceeding peer public pension fund median returns of 7.7 percent. Over a 10-year period, SMRS earned a return of 8.5 percent, exceeding the peer median return of 7.6 percent.

“I am proud of our staff for making Michigan a pension fund investment leader,” State Treasurer Nick Khouri said. “The performance of our overall portfolio directly benefits state and teacher retirement plans by ensuring long-term financial stability for our retirees now and in the future. The pension fund’s performance also makes our tax dollars work harder for the people of Michigan, enabling us to save for the future, pay down debt and spend dollars on other important programs.”

Over the past decade—a time that included the Great Recession—SMRS assets gained more than $9.5 billion above the peer average investment return. Due to these gains, General Fund and School Aid Fund 2018 fiscal year annual contributions into pension fund pools are nearly $780 million less than they would have been if SMRS had earned the peer average investment return. Peer pension funds are state-level public pension funds within the United States greater than $10 billion in overall pension assets. The SMRS portfolio exceeds $70 billion and consists of pension fund assets for all of Michigan public school employees, state employees, Michigan State Police and judges. — G.G.

Resource guide helps seniors, caregivers find local services

LANSING — The Aging & Adult Services Agency (AASA), under the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, announced today the release of a new resource guide, A Guide to Services for Older Adults, that is aimed at helping older adults have better access to local services to help them live at home safely and independently.

As people age, they may begin to have difficulties with daily tasks like cooking, cleaning or shopping for groceries. When this happens, it is often family members or friends who step up to help. When this informal support is not enough, finding services to help people continue to live at home safely is necessary to avoid institutional care.

A Guide to Services for Older Adults was created to promote knowledge of and access to services for Michigan’s older adults and family caregivers. The guide also has listings of other local, state and federal resources that are available and may be helpful depending on the person’s needs.

“Most people want to remain at home and in their community as they age,” said AASA Senior Deputy Director Richard Kline. “This resource guide was designed to help people do just that by quickly connecting them to services like Meals on Wheels, caregiver support and in-home care that can help them continue to live at home independently.”

Michigan has 16 regional area agencies on aging and nearly 1,000 providers across the state that can offer more than 40 types of free or low-cost services to older adults and the people who are caring for them. Last year, providers served more than 120,000 Michigan residents.

Visit the AASA website to download a copy of the resource guide, A Guide to Services for Older Adults. — G.G.

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