US- The investment chief at the US$81bn Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) has forfeited his bonus pay estimated at $167,838 until the pension fund posts positive returns for a year.
The scheme experienced a 27% drop in market value in 2008, a time when the global equity markets lost about 40%.
Harris said: "We are all suffering during this virtually unprecedented period."
He continued: "The value of people's investments has decreased, and many are out of work or concerned about their jobs. As chief investment officer of the fund, it seems to me that I should also feel the effects of this difficult time, just like many of our members."
TRS began offering performance incentive pay in 2006 in order to retain and attract talent. Under the current incentive plan, Harris is eligible to receive up to 125% of his pay in bonuses, as long as certain targets are met against the policy benchmark and the system's peer group.
Board chairman Linus Wright said: "We place a great value on the skills, expertise and performance of our staff, and we appreciate how they have helped us avoid bigger losses during the current economic downturn. However, the board agreed with Harris that deferring performance payments at this time was the responsible thing to do."
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