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Pennsylvania: The Financial Contribution of Oil and Natural Gas Company Investments To Major Public Employee Pension Plans in Seventeen States, 2005 – 2009

Pennsylvania: The Financial Contribution of Oil and Natural Gas Company Investments To Major Public Employee Pension Plans in Seventeen States, 2005 – 2009

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Published by Energy Tomorrow
This report examines the financial impact of investments in oil and natural gas companies on the overall performance of the two largest public employee pension funds in each of seventeen states. Total Assets, Oil and Natural Gas Assets, and Returns on Those Assets, The data show these investments sharply out-performed the funds’ other assets. From 2005 to 2009, spanning both vigorous expansion and deep recession, the share of the funds’ returns attributable to oil and natural gas investments in Pennsylvania was 2.5 times greater than their share of those funds’ assets.
This report examines the financial impact of investments in oil and natural gas companies on the overall performance of the two largest public employee pension funds in each of seventeen states. Total Assets, Oil and Natural Gas Assets, and Returns on Those Assets, The data show these investments sharply out-performed the funds’ other assets. From 2005 to 2009, spanning both vigorous expansion and deep recession, the share of the funds’ returns attributable to oil and natural gas investments in Pennsylvania was 2.5 times greater than their share of those funds’ assets.

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Published by: Energy Tomorrow on Jun 27, 2011
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The Financial Contribution of Oil and Natural Gas Company InvestmentsTo Major Public Employee Pension Plans in Seventeen States, 2005 – 2009:Pennsylvania
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Robert J. Shapiro and Nam D. Pham
This report examines the financial impact of investments in oil and natural gas companieson theoverall performance of the two largest public employee pension funds in each of seventeen states.
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Total Assets, Oil and Natural Gas Assets, and Returns on Those Assets,
Thedata show these investments sharply out-performed the funds’ other assets. From 2005 to 2009, spanningboth vigorous expansion and deep recession, the share of the funds’ returns attributable to oil and naturalgas investments in Pennsylvania was 2.5 times greater than their share of those funds’ assets.
Two Largest Pension Funds in Pennsylvania, 2005 – 2009
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StateTotal Assets(billions)Oil andNatural GasAssets(billions)Oil and NaturalGas Assets As aShare of TotalAssetsReturns from Oiland Gas Assetsas a Share of AllReturnsRatio of Oil andNatural Gas AssetReturns to TheirShare of Total AssetsPA $86.2 $2.9 3.4% 8.6% 2.5 to 1
 
In Pennsylvania, the two largest public pension funds represent more than 67 percent of the totalmembership and 74 percent of all assets of all public employee pension programs in the state.
 
The oil and natural gas investments by Pennsylvania’s two largest public pension plans accountedfor 3.4% of those funds’ total assets while contributing 8.6% of those funds’ total gains, for aratio of 2.5 to 1.
Pennsylvania’s Two Largest Public Employee Retirement Plans: Rates of Returnfrom Oil and Natural Gas Investments and All Other Investments, 2005-2009
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Return on $1 invested in Oiland Natural Gas StocksReturn on $1 invested inNon-Oil and Natural GasInvestmentsRatio of Oil and Natural GasReturns to Returns on AllOther AssetsPA $1.48 $1.15 3.2 to 1.0
 
The five-year rate of return on oil and natural gas investments in the two largest pension funds inPennsylvania was 48%.
 
The five-year rate of return on all other investments was 15%.
 
Over the period 2005-2009, oil and natural gas investments in the two largest pension funds inPennsylvania outperformed the returns of other investments by 3.2 times.
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The authors wish to acknowledge the assistance of Lisa Hamilton, as well as research support from the American Petroleum Institute. Theanalysis and conclusions are solely those of the authors.
 
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We use “oil and gas company holdings” synonymously with “energy sector holdings” in this report, as oil and gas companies comprise 98percent of the value of the S&P Energy Sector Index and the vast majority of energy sector holdings in the public employee pension fundsexamined here. The current S&P 500 Energy Sector Index is comprised of 60 percent integrated oil & gas companies; 18 percent oil & gasexploration and production enterprises; 14 percent oil and gas equipment and services firms; 3 percent oil and gas storage and transportationcompanies; 2 percent oil and gas drilling firms; and 1 percent oil & gas refining & marketing. Coal and consumable fuels account for theremaining 2 percent of the Index.
 
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Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, S&P’s; and authors’ estimates.
 
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 Ibid.
 
 
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Methodology
 This study has estimated the financial impact of oil and gas company stocks on thereturns achieved by the major public pension plans in the seventeen states of California, Florida,Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, NewMexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and West Virginia, overthe five-year period from FY 2005 to FY 2009. For each state, we selected the two largest statepension funds, covering public school employees and state government employees. Across theseventeen states analyzed here, these two public pension plans account for some 60 percent of the total assets and membership of all public pension plans in those states. The public pensionplans in each state follow broadly similar investment strategies. For our estimates of thecontribution of oil and natural gas company stocks to all public pension plan in a state, we applythe energy holdings as a share of the total assets and the annual returns of those holdings for thetwo largest pension plans to the aggregate holdings of all of a state’s public pension assets.For each state, we collected five years of investment data from the ComprehensiveAnnual Financial Reports (CAFRs) of the two largest public pension funds, including their totalassets, asset allocations across classes of financial instruments, holdings by sector (includingenergy), and annual returns by asset class and sector. The asset allocations are reported for U.S.equities, international equities, fixed income securities, and other asset classes (cash, short-terminstruments, real estate and alternative investments), in dollar amounts and as percentages of total assets. When a fund did not report its investments in the oil and natural gas sector, we usethe energy sector’s share in the S&P 500 to estimate the pension fund’s holdings of oil andnatural gas stocks. For example, energy companies accounted for 9.3 percent of the value of theS&P 500 indexin2005, 9.8 percent in 2006, 12.9 percent in 2007, 13.3 percent in 2008, and 11.5percent in 2009.
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We also use each fund’s reported exposure to the oil and natural gas sector andthe S&P 500 Energy Sector as a proxy for oil and gas company holdings and the return of thefunds’ oil and gas company holdings. The S&P 500 Energy Sector is comprised almost entirelyof oil and gas companies, with oil and gas companies accounting for 98.1 percent of the currentS&P Energy Sector.
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 To estimate the holdings and returns for all public employee pension plans in a state, weuse aggregate data reported by the U.S. Census Bureau on each state, including total assets, assetallocations, memberships, and benefits. Since the Census Bureau does not report oil and naturalgas sector holdings by state, we apply the share of total holdings in oil and natural gas stocks forthe state’s largest pension plan in each year to the state-wide level. If a state’s two largest publicpension plans do not report their oil and natural gas sector holdings, we apply the share of oil andnatural gas stocks in the S&P 500 and the returns of the S&P 500 Energy Sector.
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The domestic equity benchmark for public pension fund systems is typically based on a blend of several indexbenchmarks, such as the S&P 500, the Russell 3000, and the Wilshire 5000. Since the returns of financial indicesare highly correlated over time, our results are not biased by our reliance on the S&P’s index.
 
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Again, the breakdown of the current S&P Energy Index: 60.3 percent integrated oil & gas companies; 17.75percent oil & gas exploration and production; 14.11 percent oil and gas equipment and services; 2.66 percent oil andgas storage and transportation; 1.96 percent oil and gas drilling; and 1.29 percent oil & gas refining & marketing.Coal and consumable fuels account for 1.92 percent of the Index.
 
3
In calculating the contribution of oil and natural gas stocks to each plan’s assets andreturns, we first estimate the plan’s annual capital gains and losses based on its annual returnsand assets. Next, we estimate the capital gains and losses of the plan’s oil and natural gas sectorholdings each year based on its oil and natural gas assets and the annual return of the S&P 500Energy Sector Index. Finally, we use the fund’s total capital gains and losses each year and thecapital gains and losses of its oil and natural gas sector holdings toestimate the contribution of oil and natural gas sector companies to the fund’s overall returns.
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 One important caveat in comparing the investment performance of these states, notedearlier, is that data are reported for each state’s fiscal year, which differs from state to state. Forexample, the fiscal year ends on June 30 in Illinois, March 31 in New York, September 30 inMichigan, and December 31 in Ohio. These differences have significant effects on assetperformance in FYs 2008 and 2009, including the performance of oil and gas company assets inthose years. The aggregate data for all public employee pension plans reported by the CensusBureau covers only FYs 2005-2008. Thus, the data for states with fiscal years that end relativelyearly in the year do not include the sharp drops in the second half of 2008. Similarly, the data forthe two largest pension plans in states with fiscal years that end relatively early do not includethe recovery of equity value in the second half of 2009. Nevertheless, the patterns hold across allseventeen states: The returns on investments in oil and gas companies held by state publicpension plans significantly outperform the average returns on their other investments.The remainder of this study provides the analysis, state by state, of the impact of oil andnatural gas company investments on the performance of state public employee pension funds.
7
The funds do not report dividends by company or sector, so we could not separately track dividend. However,following standard economic analysis, the value of a company’s dividends is reflected in its stock price.

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