The value of investments held by Arkansas’ state retirement systems fell more than $2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008, marking the second consecutive quarter in which the systems reported investment losses in excess of $2 billion.

George Hopkins, executive director of the Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, told the legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Retirement and Social Security Programs last week that the value of the system’s investments fell $1.1 billion to $9.6 billion in the third quarter and by $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter to $8.3 billion.

Hopkins said the unfunded liability in the teacher retirement system, the largest of the six state retirement plans, is approximately $2 billion.

The Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System saw the value of its investments decline from $5 billion at the end of the third quarter to approximately $4.3 billion at the end of the year. Gail Stone, executive director of the system, told lawmakers the unfunded liabilities totaled about $676 million as of June 30, 2008.

Other declines included the Arkansas State Police Retirement System’s drop of $40 million to $152 million, a decline of $151 million in the Arkansas State Highway Employees Retirement System, a $78 million drop in the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System, and a $20 million decline in the Arkansas Judicial Retirement System.

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