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Low return on pension plan has some worried

SPRINGFIELD -- New numbers out show the state's Teachers' Retirement System made almost no money on its investment last year.
SPRINGFIELD -- New numbers out show the state's Teachers' Retirement System made almost no money on its investment last year. The return was less than 1%, at just .76%.

TRS is the biggest of any of the state's pension systems. It has about $36 billion in assets, so getting such a poor return has some people really worried.

But, the head of TRS blames the unstable economy and says teachers shouldn't be concerned about their futures because of it. He says the market is always up and down.

In 2008 and 2009, TRS ended the year in the red. But, last year, returns were up more than 25%.

One retired teacher says he doesn't like seeing low numbers, but trusts TRS to make the right calls. Earlier this year, TRS lowered its expected long-term outlook for investments.

That's going to cost the state an extra $300 million in the next budget. TRS says this year's low return won't add to that.
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