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Report: CalPERS selling fifth of timberland portfolio

The $305.3bn California Public Employees’ Retirement System has put 300,000 acres of timberland around Louisiana up for sale, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.

The $305.3 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has put 300,000 acres of timberland around Louisiana up for sale, representing a fifth of its total holdings in the asset class, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The pension fund has been reviewing its timberland portfolio since November last year after it failed to meet its NCREIF Farmland Index benchmark. The asset class posted a negative return over the five years to 31 March, although its three-and one-year returns were more promising at 4 percent and 3.1 percent respectively, writes WSJ.

Timberland accounts for around 1 percent of the pension’s total assets and around 80 percent of this is in the US.

WSJ reported that a CalPERS spokesperson said: “We continue to look through the entire portfolio to make sure that all programmes fit with our current strategic priorities and our efforts to reduce costs and complexity,” adding that “no decisions have been made”, and that there is no deadline for the review.