The nation’s largest public pension fund, known as Calpers, is unloading stocks in a falling market to make sure it has enough cash to meet its obligations. The pressures come as the California Public Employees’ Retirement System has had to raise cash to fulfill commitments to private-equity firms and real-estate partners. The giant fund’s predicament is another sign of how the market selloff is tightening the screws on pension funds nationwide. Many other pension funds have similar partnerships and could also confront liquidity strains.
Typically, Calpers keeps less than 2% of its assets in cash, but the recent demands have forced it to raise that level. Calpers said it had $188.8 billion under management as of Wednesday, down 21% from the end of June. The fund, which said it had about 63% of its assets in global stocks at the end of August, has been punished severely by the stock-market selloff.