Calpers

, the big California pension fund, is giving the boot to

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

because it said the high-powered investment firm did a bad job managing some $663 million in assets.

The California Public Employees' Retirement System made the decision to oust Goldman at a board meeting in August. But the news wasn't disclosed until this week, when Calpers named 11 asset managers to handle its $11.7 billion stock portfolio.

Each year, the Calpers board reviews the performances of its asset managers and makes decisions on whether to retain them or look elsewhere.

In ousting Goldman, Calpers, in its report, said the Wall Street firm "did not show the ability to outperform the benchmark in any market environment."

Goldman declined to comment.

Goldman had been managing Calpers' money since June 1998. And over that time, it had a cumulative portfolio loss of 27% -- worse than any other asset-management firm and the

S&P 500's

17.4% decline. The fund measures performance against its own benchmark, the Calpers Wilshire 2500, which fell 24.3% since June 1998.

Goldman was not alone in performing poorly for Calpers during the bear market. The fund's board said it is putting two other money managers on a "watch list" for possible ouster, but it didn't identify them.

Other money managers with less-than-stellar performances were

J.P. Morgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

,

Putnam Advisory

and

Oppenheimer Capital

.

One of the best-performing money managers was

Alliance Bernstein

, which has achieved a 16.6% cumulative gain since it began managing some $909 million for Calpers in September 2000.

But all is not lost for Goldman. Calpers' decision to dismiss it as a manager does not impact another contract that the pension fund awarded in May to Goldman's asset-management division in Tampa, Fla. The voided contract was with Goldman's home office in New York.

A source says the amount of money being managed by the Tampa office is similar to the deal that the New York office handled.