Amid shaky markets, SD's investment chief gets raiseThe Legislature's Executive Board raised Matt Clark’s salary to $386,647 from $368,938.
By: Bob Mercer, Republic Capitol Bureau
PIERRE — The Legislature’s Executive Board named David Hillard of Rapid City as the new member of the South Dakota Investment Council on Monday and raised state investment officer Matt Clark’s salary by 4.9 percent.
The Executive Board raised Clark’s salary to $386,647 from $368,938.
“He took a 5 percent cut last year as part of the budget freeze,” said Sen. Larry Tidemann, R-Brookings.
Clark, meanwhile, responding to a question from a member of the legislative panel, said benefits paid by the South Dakota Retirement System will need to continue to be modified in the future as financial conditions change.
“People need to be braced for a rocky future, because we’re definitely not out of the woods,” Clark said.
The tone and substance of Clark’s remarks matched the message he delivered last week to the SDRS board of trustees and members of the Legislature’s retirement laws committee.
SDRS is the public pension fund that serves state government, state universities, many cities, counties and school districts, many public safety employees and various special units of local government.
Two years ago, the Legislature created a sliding scale for retirees’ annual cost of living adjustment.
The amount varies from a minimum of 2.1 percent to a maximum of 3.1 percent, depending upon whether the market value of the retirement system’s investments are at 100 percent of the amount necessary for the system to be in long-range financial balance.
Clark said that was an example of the kinds of adjustments that could continue to be necessary in an era of uncertain investment markets.
The funded ratio had fallen below 80 percent for a period prior to the new COLA approach being adopted.
“I think more of that is the best solution,” he said. He later added, “If things get really bad, there will be a meaningful amount of fine tuning that needs to be done.”