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Office of the New York State Comptroller

Snapshot of the New York State Common Retirement Fund

Overview:

  • Audited net assets held in trust for pension benefits (as of March 31, 2013): $164.22 billion, third largest pension plan in the United States
  • 3,029 state and local government employers participate in the pension system.
  • More than one million members, retirees and beneficiaries.
  • $9.45 billion paid out in benefits in fiscal year 2012-13.
  • There are two different systems that constitute the New York State & Local Retirement System (NYSLRS). They are the Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) with 66,181 members, retirees and beneficiaries and the Employees' Retirement System (ERS) with 994,829 members, retirees and beneficiaries.

Common Retirement Fund:

  • As of March 31, 2013, the invested assets of the CRF were $160.7 billion.

Investments:

  • Equity investments (70 percent of portfolio): Under state law, the CRF may invest up to 70 percent of its assets in equities. Ten percent of the CRF's total investments can be in international equities; 10 percent in real estate; and up to 25 percent in any investment that meets prudent investor standards. The CRF's investments in private equity, real estate in excess of 10 percent, international equities in excess of 10 percent, and absolute return strategies (hedge funds) are authorized for the fund as long as they meet the prudent investor standard.
  • Fixed income (30 percent of portfolio): There is no limit on the amount of investment grade, dollar-denominated bonds the CRF may invest in.

Employer Contribution Rates:

  • FY 2014 average contribution rates: 20.9 percent of payroll for ERS; 28.9 percent of payroll for PFRS.
  • Employers contributed roughly $5.34 billion to the Retirement System in FY 2013.
  • Employees contributed $269.1 million in FY 2013.
  • Employer and employee contributions have helped the Fund remain well funded.

Member Information:

  • Overall membership in NYSLRS: 1,061,010
    • 647,574 members (active or vested)
    • 413,436 retirees and beneficiaries
    • 95% are members of ERS; 5% are members of PFRS

Average Pensions:

  • Average pension for all ERS retirees in FY 2013: $20,766
  • Average pension for all PFRS retirees in FY 2013: $43,844