West Virginia investment assets drop after market downturn

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The value of West Virginia’s investments dropped about 7.5% after the stock market downturn due to the new coronavirus, the executive director of the Investment Management Board said.

Craig Slaughter told the Consolidated Public Retirement Board on Wednesday that state investment assets fell about 4% in February and about 10% in March. Some of those losses were recovered in April, The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

Entering the downturn, the Investment Management Board had total fund assets of about $19.7 billion, while state pension fund assets were about $15.9 billion.

Slaughter said markets are likely to remain volatile, especially if coronavirus infections surge again later this year.

Consolidated Public Retirement Board Executive Director Jeffery Fleck said the value of investments in a 401(k)-style retirement plan for educators has dropped nearly 12% to $507 million since January.

Under state law, the legislature must redirect revenue to fund public teacher and employee pension plans if those assets don’t grow by 7.5% annually.

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